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Chasing Reality

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Veronica sat beside her aunt on the dark leather couch, eyes downcast and back straight as she listened quietly. She'd been dreading this meeting all week, the conversation that could very well determine how the rest of her life played out.

"Mr. Todoroki," her aunt Caroline began, leaning forward and smiling at the stoic man who sat across the coffee table from her. "I can guarantee that my niece will be the perfect match for your little boy."

Endeavour grunted, his calculating eyes focusing on Veronica's small frame. "And what exactly can she offer? My son has developed two powerful quirks, and I'm not interested in arranging a weak and useless bride for him."

"No, of course not," Caroline placed her hands on the girl's shoulders. "And that's why I thought you'd take great interest in Veronica's... unique quirk."

He raised an eyebrow. "And what would this quirk be exactly?"

Caroline's grip on her shoulders tightened, her nails starting to dig into her skin through the fabric of her frilly pale blue dress. "She has what's called "Second Sight". Essentially, she has the ability to watch, hear and predict her opponents movements. The range is only 50 meters at the moment, but she's only 7, so we're working on increasing the range and endurance."

Endeavour nodded as she continued. "She also has the ability to physically transcend our reality, something she calls "Void Walking". She can move about and through things, all while being unseen and unheard."

"Show me," he directed his attention back to Veronica as Caroline released her grip on her shoulders.

Standing up from the couch, she closed her eyes, breathing in deeply as she focused on emptying her mind and feeling the air and world around herself. Within seconds she felt the shift in her body as it slowly dissipated, allowing her to merge into the world, into the Void.

Veronica opened her eyes and sighed, relaxing as she took a step forward through the coffee table, escaping her aunts watchful gaze.

Looking around the spacious living room, she noticed a small figure, his eyes widening at her sudden disappearance as he watched intently from the hallway. Red and white bangs fell into his face as he peeked his head around the doorway, intrigued by her quirk.

"Veronica," Caroline called. "Go and stand by the front window, then return to the physical world," she instructed.

The girl nodded, knowing that her aunt couldn't see her, and made her way across the room, turning to face them again as she stood in front of the closed curtains. Following the same process, she closed her eyes, focussing on returning to a physical form.

Endeavour nodded in approval as Veronica reappeared before them. "And her parents?"

"Gone," Caroline stated flatly. "Her mother died 3 years ago when they were involved in a car accident, and her father was never in the picture. I guess that's what she gets for leaving home to chase after a married man. Such a tramp," she tsked.

Veronica ground her teeth together, biting her tongue as Caroline slandered her own sister, the girl's hands slowly forming fists at the memory of the accident. "That's how this one discovered her abilities actually. She was in the back seat and saw the crash before it happened, then merged out of reality to save herself."

"Which brings us to where we are today. Veronica was placed in my care, and I've made sure to enrol her in of all the appropriate classes for a lady of high society. Etiquette lessons, multiple forms of combat, communication and hosting, etc." Caroline smiled smugly. "Nothing cheap, but it's to be expected of someone who will one day be in the eye of the public."

He smiled. "Of course. Why don't you join me in the other room and we can discuss further?" He stood and motioned for her to follow him out of the opposite door and into another room.

As soon as he'd left the room, Caroline turned to glare at her niece. "Stay here brat. Don't move or touch anything," she commanded before following Endeavour.

Veronica flinched at her harsh words. "Yes ma'am." She lowered her head to look at the expensive rug, placing her hands behind her back, waiting.

Once the door had closed and she heard their conversation resume, she peered her light blue eyes up through her bangs, glancing towards the doorway where the boy had be listening in secret.

Grey and turquoise eyes started back at her, full of curiosity as he shifted from foot to foot.

"Hi," she said, lifting her head to smile sweetly at him, just like she'd been taught. I have to make him like me.

He widened his eyes in surprise, ducking back behind the wall, before peeking his head out once more. So cute!

"It's okay," she cooed. "I won't hurt you. My name is Veronica, Veronica Unmei."

He nodded slowly, coming out from behind the wall to stand in the doorway. "I'm Shoto Todoroki." Shoto looked at her, caution in his eyes. "What are you doing here?"

Veronica's smile faltered. It's not like I want to be here. "I'm here to meet you!" She forced her smile to return.

"Oh." He stops to think, taking her answer into consideration before walking towards her. "Do you want to play with me then?"

"Sure!" Her smile became genuine. It had been so long since she'd been able to just relax and be a kid. Between school, her extra lessons and quirk training, she never had any free time anymore.

A toothy grin spread across Shoto's face as he grabbed Veronica's hand, his eyes sparkling with excitement. "Let's go then!" He lead her out of the living room and down the hall, his grip on her hand tightening.

Not 10 minutes later the two of them were running around and laughing, playing with toys in Shoto's room.

Two hours later, that's where they found them, curled up together on Shoto's floor, picture books and action figures strewn across the room as both of them slept.

Chapter Text

- Two Months Later -

"Do you really have to go?" Shoto turned on his side to look at Veronica, pouting.

She sighed, reaching over to ruffle his soft red and white hair as she looked at him. "Yeah, I do. My aunt is going to travel, so I can't stay at home alone."

"But then I won't be able to see you everyday," he whined. "Can't you just come and live with us?"

She shook her head. Since they'd met, Shoto and her had been forced to spend at least one hour a day together, longer if she didn't have extra lessons. Not that she was complaining. It was to make sure that the two of them got along and liked each other, since they were supposed to be getting married when they both got older.

Shoto had quickly become her best friend, both of them bonding over the ridiculous amount of rules, restrictions and rigorous training that was being forced onto them. When they were together, they were allowed to play and be kids, and they definitely enjoyed each others company. Even if he was two years younger than her, he was still fun to play with and talk to.

"No. If I live here my classes will be too far away for me to go." Caroline had decided that while she was off traveling the world with her latest boyfriend, Veronica was going to be shipped off to an elite, private all girls boarding school a few hours away.

"But your school is too far away!" Shoto cried, grabbing onto her waist and clinging to her. "How are we going to play together?"

She smiled down at him reassuringly. "I'm coming to stay with you every weekend, remember? So we get to play and have a sleep over every week."

His eyes sparkled. "Does that mean you get to sleep in my bed with me?"

She nodded. "Yeah, so I don't have to leave after reading you your bedtime story anymore." She hugged him, his fuzzy green pjs tickling her arms.

He snuggled into her chest. "Good."

Veronica giggled at his obvious contentment. "So what do you want to read for bed time tonight?"

Shoto looked up at her, his eyes growing bright. "Can we keep reading Alice in Wonderland?"

She brushed the hair out of his face and nodded. He smiled and let go of her, scrambling out of bed and running over to the small bookshelf in the corner of his bedroom. Grabbing the book, he rushed back over to the bed, crawling over her to get back to his side before placing the book in her lap.

The book had been a gift to them from his mother, after she'd caught Veronica reading picture books to him one day. She wasn't happy that Endeavour had arranged for the two of them to get married, but she couldn't help the smile that appeared every time she watched them playing together, nor could she ignore the obvious fact that they both adored each other.

As Shoto settled back under the covers with Veronica, leaning against her side to look up and watch her, she opened the book to where they'd last left off and began to read.

She finished the chapter, looking down at Shoto, who was still leaning against her as he struggled to stay awake. His eyes kept opening and closing lazily, his breathing even. It was obvious he hadn't noticed that she'd stopped reading. Oh my god! He's so cute! Tears pricked at her eyes. I'm going to miss seeing him every day.

"Sho-sho," Veronica whispered his nick name, reaching over to shake him lightly. He blinked a couple of times, then yawned, stretching against her. She smiled at how adorable he looked, half asleep with his fluffy hair sticking every which way. "It's time for me to go."

He nodded, dazed, as he slowly sat up, allowing her to slip out of his bed. She set the book down on his night stand, then leaned over to tuck him in as he laid down.

"You leave tomorrow, right?" He asked after yawning again.

"Yeah," She sighed. "But I'll see you again in a week for our first sleep over, okay?"

Shoto nodded. "Nica?" He asked tentatively, looking down at his hands. She smiled slightly at his use of her nick name.

"What is it Sho-sho?" She asked as she sat down on this edge of his bed.

He fidgeted with his fingers for a few seconds before looking up at her, his cheeks slightly flushed. "Can I have a kiss?"

Veronica's eyes widen in surprise, taken aback. "A kiss? Why?"

"Well," he started fidgeting with his hands again. "We're going to get married one day, right? So shouldn't we kiss when we say goodbye?" Shoto looked up at her, grey and turquoise eyes filled with hope, his lips slightly pouted, some of his bangs falling into his eyes.

How could I say no to that face? She sucked in a breath, cheeks becoming pink with embarrassment. "Yeah, we are going to get married, so I guess that's okay."

A smile broke across his face, melting her heart. She gulped in air. If this is what my life's going to be like, how will my heart ever survive?

Shoto closed his eyes and pursed his lips, waiting patiently for her to kiss him. Veronica smiled and shook her head, then leaned down and gave him a quick peck on the lips, her cheeks now a dark crimson.

"Goodbye Sho-sho," she waved to his sleepy form as she quickly made her escape from his bedroom, her heart hammering in her chest the whole way home.

Chapter Text

- 8 Years Later -

Veronica reached her small hand up to draw shapes in the condensation that had formed on the window when it started to rain. She leaned against the car door, looking out of the window and into the darkness, listening to her mother muttering to herself in the front seat.

Something had happened, but Veronica couldn't remember exactly what. A fight maybe? She scrunched up her face as she tried to remember, the wind and rain beating down against the cars exterior.

Realization hit her like a truck as her memories came flooding back. Dread and grief slowly sunk into the pit of her stomach as she turned to look at her mother, frantically calling to her. "MOM! STOP!"

She remained silent, her daughter's cries falling on deaf ears. "MOM!" Veronica screamed, becoming desperate. "MOM, PLEASE! The car, you have to watch out for the car!"

As if on cue, her mother glanced at her through the rear view mirror, sighing. "Is that so sweetheart? Well, I'll make sure to be extra careful then," she responded, following the script to a tee.

Tears streamed down Veronica's face as she realized it was too late. Why didn't she listen to me? Why couldn't I stop it? She slammed her eyes shut, clenching her jaw and tensing her body as bright lights flashed in front of the car.

The impact of the two vehicles left her ears ringing, the sickening screech of metal making her flinch as her tears flowed nonstop.

"Why, Mom?" She gasped in despair. "WHY?!"

"It's all your fault!" Her aunt Caroline's words bounced through her head. "It's your fault she died. You could have stopped it, but you didn't. You don't deserve to be alive!"

Veronica's alarm clock blared, jerking her awake and out of her memory filled dream state.

She groaned as she reached over to shut it off, blinking the tears from her eyes. She stifled as sob as she rubbed the wetness from her face, slowly sitting up in her bed.

Taking in her surroundings, memories of the previous day returned to her. Veronica had spent the day moving and trying to unpack as much of her things as she could. Her eyes landed on a stack of boxes piled precariously in the corner of her new bedroom, filled with books and clothing just waiting to be unpacked.

Sighing, she slowly got out of bed, her gaze drifting towards the school uniform that hung on the back of her bedroom door. Today's the day.

Making her way to the bathroom in the small apartment she now called home, Veronica's thoughts wandered aimlessly as she tried to forget the dream she'd just had.

What's UA going to be like? If it hadn't been for Endeavour's glowing recommendation, she was sure there was no way she'd have passed the practical part of the entrance exams. Veronica had heard the rumours, and knew that her quirks wouldn't have been very useful against a bunch of robots.

Happy wife, happy life though, right? She laughed humourlessly, the warm water relaxing her tension filled muscles as she stepped into the shower.

With her parents being gone, there was no way that Endeavour could guarantee Veronica's marriage to his youngest son. So, what was his solution? Doing everything in his power to ensure that she stuck around, at least until she had a ring on her finger. If that meant a guaranteed entrance into UA, so be it. Her own apartment a few blocks away from theirs? Done. Add to that an unlimited credit card for Veronica to buy whatever she desired, no restrictions, and her compliance was pretty much a given. Not that she really used the card for anything other than food and her basic needs, but it didn't matter. Endeavour was supporting her lifestyle, so she had no choice but to stay.

Sighing in defeat, Veronica finished up in the shower, then headed out to continue getting ready for her first day of school.

Spinning around in front of the full length mirror, Veronica admired herself in her new uniform. The grey button down blazer clung tightly to her body, emphasizing her well rounded chest and various curves, the dark blue-green skirt stopping half way down her cream coloured thighs.

Pulling on a pair of black thigh high stockings, she slipped on a pair of plain brown shoes, returning to the mirror as she tugged her long, golden blonde hair up into a half-up do, the rest of it spilling down her back in soft waves. She brushed the long strands she considered her bangs out of her face and plastered on a smile.

Veronica cringed at the fake aura of happiness around herself, shaking her head. Shoto would have a good laugh at me. She let out a small laugh, her smile becoming more genuine. Her best friend had always been good at seeing past the facade she put on for everyone else.

I suppose there's worse people to be forced to marry. While Shoto and Veronica weren't technically dating yet, and wouldn't be until they were older, Veronica knew that there was no denying the fact that they were essentially exclusive.

Not that she was complaining. She bit her lower lip as she thought about him. He'd always been adorable, but at 13 he'd already grown taller than Veronica, and there was no way she could ignore how good he looked. His broadening shoulders, his soft white and red hair, the way he looked at her the second she came into his line of sight...

Veronica shook her head, trying to dismiss her own thoughts. She was thankful for the foresight of her younger self, who'd insisted that she no longer shared a bed with Shoto once she'd turned 12. At age 10, Shoto had been confused and angry at losing his night time cuddle buddy. He'd even feared that Veronica was starting to hate him. The reality being, of course, that Veronica had just started to become acutely aware of the boys surrounding her, especially Shoto, as she hit puberty.

Sucking in a breath, she finally freed herself from the thoughts in her head, continuing on with her preparations for the day.

Chapter Text

- 1 Year Later -

 

Veronica hummed her favourite song to herself, slowly making her way home from UA. Soon she’d be able to try out for her Provisional Hero License, since she was now in her second year of the hero course. Finally, she’d be able to step forward and help pro hero's if the occasion arose outside of school grounds. She could only imagine how much she could offer in a situation where the pros didn't have the information needed to step in. Her quirk was 'Second Sight' after all. It was just one more step towards her goal of becoming a pro.

 

Veronica’s head jerked up as a loud explosion filled her ears, quickly followed by a few more. Smoke rose from the shopping district like a wave as she ran towards the crowd that had formed a safe distance from the battle. Screams filled her ears, the smell of fire and smoke now surrounding her.

 

Breathing in, she felt herself becoming detached from her body, the world around her slowing as her mind accelerated. It was always disorienting at first, to seem as though she was floating in the sky above everything, especially when her own body was in view. Veronica shifted her focus to the centre of the commotion, an enormous mass of green slime she deducted to be a villain thrashing around among a street of burning buildings.

 

What about the explosions? How could a sludge creature... She gasped as she focused in on an ashen blond the villain had taken hostage. More explosions erupted from within the sludge creature, coming from the boys hands.

 

He's fighting for his life! The few pro hero's in the area seemed to be at a loss, unable to help the poor boy and focusing instead on the other casualties. His eyes became frantic as he struggled, her quirk allowing her to pick up on his fading vital signs, the villain slowly suffocating him. It quickly dawned on her that the villain was trying to take over the boy's body, rather than simply keeping him hostage. He's going to die!

 

Something inside her snapped at the look of pure desperation in his crimson eyes. Veronica threw herself forward through the crowd, quickly returning to her body as she dodged flames and debris. A dark green haired boy came into her line of sight, rushing into the battle not far ahead of her. They must be friends.

 

She watched in surprise as the boy spun, flinging his school bag at the villain, forcing him to release the hold he had on the blonds face. He gasped for air, the green haired boy screaming what could only be the blonds name as he reached them, scrambling to try and dig his friend out of the villains form.

 

Veronica reached them moments later, pushing the green haired boy aside as she launched herself into the sludge villain, connecting with the blonds torso. As if on instinct, the second she wrapped her arms around him she felt the shift in her body as the two of them merged into the Void.

 

The blond gasped for air as they passed through the villains body, the force of the impact and lack of gravity in the Void propelling the two of them back through the air.

 

Veronica’s vision blurred momentarily as she shifted them back into reality, now a good 10 meters away from the villain. They hit the ground with a hard thud, rolling away from each other as she lost her grip on the boy's torso.

 

Black dots dance across the scene as she looked back to see All Might appear, defeating the villain with a Detroit Smash. Her head fell back to the ground, ears ringing, the cheers of the crowd fading out as the rain began to soak her ruined uniform.

 

Veronica pulled in a shaky breath, using the last of her strength to look at the boy lying a couple feet away from her. His body was battered from the fall, his chest heaving as he frantically took in oxygen. Good, she sighed. He's still alive.

 

Her vision faded completely to black as she finally allowed herself to lose consciousness.

 


Veronica blinked slowly, trying to focus her vision as she came to, staring up at a white ceiling. Hushed voices reached her ears as she shifted in the bed, trying to sit herself up. Her body screamed in protest, making her groan.

 

"Veronica!" Shoto's face appeared above her, concern evident as his eyes stared at her face intently.

 

Realizing where she was, she bolted upright, or at least attempt to, and hissed in pain as she unintentionally pulled at the IV jutting from her elbow.

 

"Hey, be careful!" Shoto frowned, his arms coming around her as he slowly helped her to a proper sitting position. Her head throbbed painfully, making her wince. Memories came flooding back. Green slime, burning buildings, the sound of multiple explosions, desperation filled crimson eyes...

 

"The boy!" Veronica clutched at Shoto's dark blue shirt, frantic, worry colouring her voice. "Is he alright? I didn't hurt him did I?"

 

"Shhh, Veronica, it's alright," he soothed, loosening her grip on him. He took her hands in his, running his thumbs over her knuckles in an attempt to comfort her. "You saved him. It's okay now, he's fine."

 

Veronica sighed in relief, her body visibly relaxing. Shoto studied her slowly, reaching up to rub small circles into her back, releasing the rest of the tension in her muscles. She closed her eyes and hummed, a smile appearing on Shoto’s face at her contentment.

 

"How are you feeling?"

 

"Better now," she sighed, making him chuckle. He always knew how to instantly make her feel better. He was her rock, after all. He'd always been there when she needed him, and he was the only person she could confidently confide in. He never judged her or the messed up situations her aunt put her through. He was going through similar trials himself after all. "How long have I been out?"

 

"About a day now," Shoto frowned. The doctor had told them that while her body had only sustained minor cuts and bruises, it was mainly her mind, probably from the extreme use of her quirk, that needed a day or two to heal.

 

"A day?!" Veronica gasped, flinging her eyes open. "Are you serious?"

 

He nodded, then looked towards the door as the doctor entered. "Ah, Miss Unmei, glad to see that you're awake now."

 

He made his way to the IV stand beside Veronica’s hospital bed, taping on the half empty bag that hung down. "We'll keep the IV in until this bag is gone, then I'll have a nurse remove it." The doctor turned towards her. "So how are you feeling?"

 

"I have a dull pain in my head, almost like a headache." Veronica winced as he shined a light in her eyes, checking the dilation of her pupils.

 

He nodded. "That doesn't surprise me. It should go away on its own in a few hours. Other than that, you look to be in good health. We'll keep you overnight just in case, but you should be good to go home in the morning."

 

Veronica nodded. "Doctor, what exactly happened? How did I..." she trailed off.

 

The doctor shared an unreadable look with Shoto before looking back to Veronica. "From what I'm told, the time from when you disappeared to when you reappeared with the boy was only a few seconds. If you're referring to the sudden boost in your quirk, more than likely it was a result of the dire situation and adrenaline. Your body was no doubt running on instinct, and that's why you were able to do what you were."

 

She bit her lip, tears pricking her eyes. "And the boy? He wasn't... my quirk didn't hurt him? There weren't any negative side effects?"

 

Shoto increased the force of his hand on her back, trying to do away with the pained expression on her face. He'd seen it many times before. Transporting small objects through the Void was easy, but when it came to living creatures, something happened. Maybe it was because their bodies weren't made to be stripped from existence and then returned, or maybe it was for some other reason, but the result was always the same.

 

He'd consoled Veronica over many a dead bunny through the years. Even if she managed to return all of their body to the physical world, for some reason they always returned dead. From what she'd told him, they were dead the second she brought them into the Void. Maybe it had something to do with a creatures soul, if she believed in that anyway. Maybe she just wasn’t strong enough to keep their astral form around once she'd essentially erased their body.

 

"No, the boy appears to be fine. Just some minor injuries and exhaustion from lack of oxygen. He was released last night."

 

Veronica let out the breath she'd been holding. It was a miracle he'd managed to survive suffocation from the sludge villain, let alone being merged out of and back into reality with her quirk.

 

"Well, I'll be off then. I'll send in a nurse to check on you later. Get some rest," the doctor waved as he left, the two of them alone once again.

 

Veronica looked to Shoto, who smiled weakly. "Your aunt will be here to see you later."

 

Her face paled. "She's going to kill me."

 

"No more than usual," he chuckled, trying to lighten the mood.

 

She smiled back weakly. Veronica couldn't blame him, it wasn't like he really knew what went on behind closed doors. It was the one thing she'd never been able to bring herself to tell him. He had so much to deal with on his own growing up, he didn't need to deal with the entire extent of her family drama as well.

 

"Do you think I'd be able to do it again?" She whispered, surprising him.

 

He shrugged. "Anything is possible, right?"

 

Veronica nodded slowly, lying back down. Even if it was a fluke, her aunt was going to insist on her trying to transport rabbits again.

 

"I've got to get home," Shoto sighed. "I'll be back to pick you up in the morning. Get some rest," he leaned down and placed a soft kiss against her forehead, making her blush slightly. "And no dying before I get the chance to marry you."

 

Veronica choked on air, her cheeks growing 10 shades darker. How can he say something like that so easily? She shook her head. No, he's always been that way. Blunt and straight forward, never one to really give away his true feelings.

 

"I'll try my best," she finally got out, earning a bright smile from him, his grey and blue eyes sparkling with mischief. God is he trying to give me a heart attack?! Veronica sent a silent thank you up to whatever being had graced her with the luck of not needing a heart monitor. She could only imagine how such a machine would betray her in this moment.

 

She gulped as she watched him leave the room, trying not to drool. Shaking her head, causing pain to shoot through behind her eyes, she finally escaped her own thoughts. Lying back down slowly on the hospital bed, Veronica closed her eyes and did her best to dream of something other than Shoto’s heart melting smile and the feeling of his soft lips on her forehead.

Chapter Text

Katsuki had been more than relieved to get the call from the hospital telling him that the stupid girl had finally woken up. It was bad enough that Deku had run forward to try and help him, let alone some girl he'd never met before. What would he have done if she'd been badly hurt? At least it was her that saved me and not that fucking Deku. Not that I needed saving in the first place.

 

He huffed to himself as the elevator door opened up to a long hall filled with numbered doors. As he walked down the hall looking for room 327, he was surprised to hear what he thought was a woman yelling.

 

Drawing closer to the room he'd been looking for, his suspicions were confirmed. Cursing under his breath, he realized the commotion was indeed coming from room 327.

 

"If you were going to do something that stupid, you should have at least gotten yourself killed!"

 

Katsuki froze as he reached to push open the door. Listening intently, he heard a muffled apology before the yelling started again.

 

"Oh, you're sorry? There were pro heroes already there dealing with the situation. You don't even have your provisional license yet! Do you have any idea how bad that looks? How am I supposed to live if they decide you aren't worth marrying off anymore?!"

 

Katsuki flinched at the harsh words, frowning as muffled crying followed.

 

"You stupid child!" There was a resounding smack as skin hit skin, making his head whip up to the small window in the door. "You're even more useless than I thought!"

 

"OI!" Katsuki kicked open the door and stomped into the small hospital room, furious. Sure, he'd had plenty of fights with his own mom, but this woman's voice was filled with pure, unbridled hatred. "What's going on here?"

 

Taking in the scene before him, it was pretty obvious what had just transpired. Veronica sat up in the hospital bed, head hung low so that her golden blond hair covered her face. She had one hand held up under her hair, clearly nursing a wound, small sniffles filling the room. A woman stood above her, her fists clenched at her sides, face almost red with anger. Though the woman looked similar to Veronica in some aspects, such as hair colour, it was obvious the relationship between the two of them was not a welcome one.

 

The woman looked over to Katsuki as he entered the room, relaxing almost instantly and plastering on the biggest fake smile he'd ever seen. Even so, the underlying venom was still clear in her sharp features and hazel eyes, making him even angrier.

 

"Why hello young man. What can we do for you?" Her voice was almost too sweet as she ignored his question, making him glare at her.

 

Katsuki glanced towards Veronica, her head still hung low, waiting. "I'm here to see Veronica Unmei. I'm Katsuki Bakugo, the guy she saved yesterday," he spat at the bitch. He hated to admit to needing help, but if it meant saving her from some of the unwarranted wrath of this woman, then he was willing to push aside his own pride. She was just trying to help. She doesn't deserve this kind of treatment.

 

Veronica’s head jerked up, red rimmed deep blue eyes wide as she stared at him. There was no mistaking it- the spiky ashen blond hair, the crimson eyes that had once looked frantic as he fought for his life... She couldn't help the small smile that appeared on her face, making her wince from the pain in her cheek at this small action. It's true! I used my quirk to save him and it actually worked. He's okay. Tears pricked at her eyes again, and she blinked rapidly to try and keep them at bay.

 

Katsuki sucked in air as Veronica looked at him, his heart rate increasing slightly as she smiled at him. Her blond hair hung around her, tangled in a few places, her one cheek slightly red, eyes bloodshot from crying. Stupid girl! He gritted his teeth, ignoring the confusion brought on by her being happy to see him. It's just because I stopped that hag from hurting her any more. She's not even that pretty.

 

"Of course you are," Caroline said cooly. "I should be headed out now anyways. I've already had to reschedule the beginning of my trip because of this," she shot a glare at Veronica. "I'll see you tomorrow when you come home."

 

With that she turned on her heel, grabbing her purse and walking past Katsuki, her heels clicking on the tiled floors as she made her way out the door and down the hall.

 

The smile on Veronica’s face now strained, she looked to Katsuki. "Hi."

 

"What the hell is that bitch's problem?" He fumed, stomping over to sit down in the chair beside her hospital bed. "She needs to die in a fucking hole!"

 

Veronica sat there, mouth agape at his bluntness. "Um, yeah..." Studying him more closely, she realize he looked to be about Shoto's age. "I'm sorry you had to walk in on all of that."

 

Katsuki shook his head, frowning. "Why the hell are you apologizing?"

 

She shrugged, not fully sure herself. No one had ever seen her in that kind of position before. "Well, um, I'm glad to see that you're okay."

 

" 'Course I am! Do I look like some sort of weakling to you?!" His crimson eyes narrowed, jaw clenching. "If you hadn't come along I would have managed just fine. A few more seconds and I'd have blown that sludge bastard to pieces," he raised his hand, small explosions going off.

 

Veronica stared at him in shock. What the hell? Is he stupid? "You're kidding me, right?" She frowned at him. "A few more seconds and you'd have been dead."

 

"SHUT UP! I could have handle it myself!" His hands became fists, his face slowly turning red.

 

"Are you stupid?" She glared back at him, anger rising. No one had ever gotten on her nerves this much before. "Why don't you pull your head out of your ass and use your brain!"

 

"WHAT DID YOU SAY TO ME!" Katsuki yelled, jumping to his feet, more explosions coming from his hands. "WHY DON'T YOU SAY THAT TO MY FACE!"

 

"I would, but it's still in your ass," Veronica smirked at him, preparing to disappear if he took a swing at her. What a child! Even Shoto knows how to keep his cool. Plus, he wouldn't be stupid enough to assume he was invincible.

 

Katsuki'd had enough of this stupid girl. "FUCK YOU! YOU'LL SEE! I'll become the best pro hero ever and no one will be able to stop me!"

 

Veronica snorted, making him even angrier. "Guess I'll see you at UA then. If you make it in, that is." I'm pretty sure they don't accept toddlers.

 

Katsuki faltered, finally taking in the fact that she was wearing a singed UA uniform, presumably burnt by his own quirk yesterday. "You're a UA student?"

 

"Well yeah, duh. People don't usually just jump into battle without some sort of professional training. Well, aside from your green haired friend," she frowned, remembering the boy who'd leap forth ahead of her. "I'm actually in my second year now, and will be going for testing for my provisional hero's license soon."

 

Katsuki's anger resurfaced at the mention of Deku. Quirkless bastard! "Whatever. I'll show you how strong I can be!" He stormed out of the room, leaving Veronica confused.

 

If he hadn't come to thank her, then why did he show up? She sighed, lying back down to get some much needed sleep, trying not to think about what tomorrow would bring.

Chapter Text

- Almost A Year Later -

 

- 1 Week Before Classes Start -

 

"Looks like we have an interesting roster of new students this year," Touya shuffled through the pages on the table in front of him.

 

"That's nothing new," Nanami sighed, resting her head in her one hands and leaning on the table. She twitched her fingers, a small breeze playing with her light brown hair.

 

Veronica smiled at her friends. "The more interesting they are, the easier it is to remember them."

 

"Why did I agree to this again?" Aria groaned, leaning forward on the table and stretching out her arms, black curls falling into her face.

 

Zen snorted. "Forget agreeing to it, how the hell did you manage to get elected?"

 

Aria stuck her tongue out at him, causing Nanami to roll her eyes. "Now, now, children," Nanami tsked. "Play nice."

 

Veronica laughed at their usual antics. Nanami Momozono was the closest thing she had to a best friend, other than Shoto of course. The two of them had spent the last few years together in the Hero Course at UA, and Nanami’d had the fortune of being elected as the Student Council President for the coming year. She was beyond friendly, and had managed to latch herself onto Veronica on her first day of high school.

 

Nanami's friend, Aria Saito, had managed to snag the spot as Student Council Vice President, despite being a third year in the Support Course. She was nice enough, but fairly forgetful of people and things, unless they had anything to do with her inventions or the calculations she was constantly running through her head. She'd gotten to know enough people last year while helping out in the lab and making other students’ gear that, despite her forgetfulness, the student body had been happy to elect her.

 

Then there was Zen Nakamura, a third year in the Management Course, who'd been chosen as the Student Council Secretary/Treasurer. He often came off as cold and calculating, but once you got to know him, it wasn't uncommon to see him laughing at his own jokes and sarcasm. Veronica was happy she’d managed to become friends with him while helping to prepare for the coming school year.

 

She figured it was only a matter of time before Aria and Zen started dating though, based on their regular banter and flirty nature towards each other. They'd make a good match, and Aria definitely needed the organizational support.

 

Speaking of flirting... Veronica shifted her gaze towards Touya, who was studying yet another student's bio. Touya Mochizuki, an arrogant playboy from class 3-B, and her second in command. He was a reckless flirt, but she'd learned to ignore it years ago, and had become fairly good friends with him. Once you got past all the bullshit that came out of his mouth, he wasn't that bad of a guy. He was a quick thinker who was skilled in battle, and would one day make an amazing pro hero.

 

Together they made up the head of the "Homework Heroes", a committee that worked with the Student Council to provide aid to the first and second years. The committee consisted of Veronica - the President, chosen by Principle Nezu - Touya, the student she’d chosen as her Vice President, and other third year students from multiple courses. The committee was responsible for helping the first and second years with their studies outside of the classroom, and were required to provide tutoring to students when needed.

 

Veronica and Touya however, were the only students approved and allowed to help the first year Hero Course students with their physical and quirk training. Each of them would be responsible for one of the two classes.

 

It was a lot of extra work, but it also granted Veronica the freedom from her own courses when needed, and showed a lot of initiative to hero agencies.

 

"Are you guys prepared for orientation next week?" Nanami questioned, spinning a pen in the air with her quirk.

 

"Of course we are," Veronica smiled at her, pushing her golden blond hair out of her face. "It's not like it's a difficult presentation."

 

"True," she nodded. "What class is Mr. Aizawa teaching this year?"

 

"Not mine, I hope," Touya grumbled, slumping down in his chair. "That guy's got it out for me."

 

Nanami laughed, the pen dropping to the table. "That's an understatement! If it hadn't been for Veronica, I'm pretty sure you'd have been expelled within the first week."

 

"Thank god you ended up in the wrong class, right sweetheart?" Touya winked at Veronica, his dark blue eyes sparkling.

 

"It's not my fault!" She became defensive, face turning red. "They told me the wrong class on my first day!"

 

Aria giggled, sitting up. "Wait, are you telling me that you somehow managed to go to the wrong class on your first day?"

 

"You're kidding me," Zen raised an eyebrow. "I thought that story about the first year going to the wrong class for a week was just a rumour."

 

"A whole week?!" Aria fell back in her chair, eyes tearing up with laughter. "Wow, and I thought you were the one student who actually had a handle on everything."

 

"Oh, shut up!" Veronica chucked an eraser at her, Touya stopping it with a small bright blue force field. "Hey!"

 

"What?" He feigned innocence, the eraser falling to the table.

 

"He's teaching class 1-A this year," Zen interjected, throwing an info sheet onto the table.

 

"God damn it," Touya frowned. "I take it that means I'm going to be handling out orientation presentation then."

 

"I guess," Veronica sighed. Mr. Aizawa was know for skipping the orientation. If it hadn't been a class of first years, they wouldn't have worried about it. "Unless you want to be the one to look after class 1-A?"

 

"Not a chance! Aizawa would be pretty pissed if he got stuck with me for the year, especially when his favourite student was the alternative."

 

"Well maybe if you didn't try to show off every other second, he wouldn't have such an issue with you," she scolded, flicking him on the forehead. He made a face at her, bright blue hair falling into his eyes.

 

"Ugh, why don't you guys just start dating already?" Aria huffed. "I'm getting sick of watching you two flirt."

 

Speak for yourself. Veronica rolled her eyes as Touya reached his arm around her shoulders. "See baby, even our friends think we should start dating."

 

"Not even in your dreams," she glared at his cocky smile, smacking his arm away.

 

Nanami giggled. "I take it none of you have heard the big news."

 

"Big news?" Aria questioned as Veronica shot Nana a confused look. "What big news?"

 

"She's talking about Veronica's boyfriend starting school here next week," Zen replied cooly, his eyes never leaving his paperwork.

 

"WHAT?!" Touya and Aria gasped. Aria's eyes widened in surprise as Touya lost his balance, nearly falling out of his chair.

 

"What boyfriend?" Touya growled, then looked towards her. "Since when do you have a boyfriend?"

 

She glared at Nanami, who was trying her best to contain her laughter. "There is no boyfriend."

 

"Liar, liar, pants on fire!" Nanami sang, grinning from ear to ear. "I saw you out on a date with him the other day, and I noticed that he just so happened to be one of the new students this year."

 

Veronica swore under her breath, cheeks turning a light pink. Shoto and her had gone out for dinner the other night to celebrate the beginning of his high school career. They weren't technically dating yet, but with the future engagement hanging over their heads, it wasn't going to be long before the two became an official couple.

 

"Which one?" Touya grabbed the rest of the first year bios, flipping through them quickly. "And which course?"

 

"The Hero Course, obviously," Nanami scoffed.

 

"Nana..." Veronica warned, voice low and menacing. "Keep talking and your crush will know first thing in the morning that you like him."

 

She held her hands up in surrender, causing Aria to latch onto Zen. "You know who it is, right? Won't you tell me?" She pouted, giving him her trademark puppy dog eyes.

 

Zen shook his head. "I'm not stupid enough to cross that line. Figure it out for yourself."

 

"But Zenny!" She whined, tugging on his arm. "You're so mean!"

 

He shrugged, indifferent to her cries. Touya eyed Veronica curiously, an eyebrow raised. "Why are you so reluctant to tell us?"

 

"Because it's none of your business," she ground out. Why are they always so insistent on knowing everything? "We're done here now, so I'm going home." Her friends watched in shock as she quickly gathered up her things and stormed out of the club room.

 

"What crawled up her ass?" Aria frowned.

 

"Oh, you know how she is," Nanami waved, dismissing Veronica’s attitude. "She never talks to us about anything too personal."

 

"I don't understand why not," Touya grumbled, flicking his hair out of his face.

 

Nanami shrugged. "That's just the way it's always been."

Chapter Text

- One Week Later -

 

"Mr. Aizawa!" Veronica smiled and waved to her old teacher as he turned to face her, stopping to allow her to catch up.

 

"Ms. Unmei," he nodded to her as she reached him. "What can I do for you?"

 

"I'm the Homework Heroes committee member that's been assigned to class 1-A this year." Veronica looked up at him, noticing the corners of his mouth twitch with the hint of a smile as she straightened out her black school blazer. "So I just wanted to let you know that I'll be observing your class today."

 

"What about orientation?" He asked, raising an eyebrow. She wasn't normally one to skirt her own duties.

 

"Vice President Mochizuki will be handling the orientation presentation today."

 

Mr. Aizawa frowned. "Are you sure he's capable of handling such a task?"

 

"Of course. I wouldn't have chosen him if I thought he was incapable of performing his duties. Unless you'd prefer it if he joined your class today instead of me?" Veronica bit her lip in an attempt to hold back the laughter that threatened to erupt at the face he made in response.

 

"No, that's quite alright," he shook his head. "I'm glad Principle Nezu listened to my suggestion of making you the committee President."

 

"I hadn't realized that you'd made the suggestion to the principle," she replied, surprise filling her voice. "Thank you."

 

Mr. Aizawa smiled faintly, a rare occurrence. "It was only right. Teaching is what you want to do in the future after all, is it not?"

 

Her smile faltered. How did he... "How did you know?"

 

"I thought it was obvious," he shrugged. "While your quirk can be very useful, it's not unnecessarily flashy, and you've never tried to make it that way. In fact, you seemed to go out of your way to avoid the spotlight." Veronica nodded, knowing it was one of the reasons he'd enjoyed having her as a student. "Besides, you'd always become a completely different person when helping your classmates. You clearly enjoyed helping them more than your own personal training."

 

She let out a sigh. "For what it's worth, I didn't enter UA with the intention of becoming a teacher."

 

He let out a small laugh. "We never do." She smiled and nodded, happy that at least one person understood.

 

Mr. Aizawa began to walk away, leaving Veronica to trail along not far behind him. "When you start your teaching course in a few years, they'll want you to have a co-op placement. Find me when that day comes."

 


Veronica lay floating on her stomach, not far from Mr. Aizawa as class 1-A filed out onto the field in their blue, red and white gym uniforms. Observing their quirk testing from the Void would allow her to watch without getting in the way of or interrupting the class. Besides, I wouldn't want to be a distraction to Shoto...

 

"But orientation!" A small, short haired brunette protested. "We're gonna miss it!"

 

Shoto frowned. He'd been looking forward to seeing Nica during the orientation ceremony. She'd been too busy the past week with preparations for the coming school year to spend any time with him. She'd told him that she had a surprise for him, and that he wouldn't find out until the orientation assembly that day. So why did the teacher insist on making him miss it?

 

"Bakugo, you managed to get the most points on the entrance exam," Mr. Aizawa turned towards the student, drawing Veronica's attention to the familiar spiky pale blond hair and crimson eyes.

 

She gasped. He got the highest score in the entrance exam? She shook her head, watching as he threw the ball using his quirk. A giant explosion erupted from his hand, propelling the ball through the air, reminding her of the burning buildings last year. I guess he did show quite a bit of power back then too.

 

Veronica laughed at the first years distress as Mr. Aizawa declared that the student to come in last would be expelled. He was well known for his harsh and strict attitude. To the best of her knowledge, he'd actually expelled a full class of students before.

 

She floated around lazily, watching the new students as they demonstrated their quirks and abilities. Veronica couldn't help but drift her attention frequently to her dear childhood friend. During most of the testing he kept to himself, his demeanour calm and collected as other students tried to converse with him. She giggled to herself. Sho-sho almost never expresses himself. Hopefully that'll change once he makes some new friends.

 

Much to her annoyance though, her attention was often drawn away from the others to the explosive blond. Veronica rolled her eyes at his anger ridden antics. That kid needs to grow up! It didn't matter how powerful he was, he'd never gain much fame with an attitude like that.

 

She watched as the students carried on to the ball throw, the small brunette with the antigravity quirk taking her turn. Her name was Ochaco Uraraka, if Veronica remembered correctly. Using her quirk on the softball, she proceeded to throw it, her score eventually reaching infinity, surprising the other students. Not unlike myself. During her quirk assessment, Veronica had shifted to the Void, throwing the ball in the space that lacked gravity, before shifting back and later returning the ball to reality before she lost her mental grip on it.

 

Veronica's altitude dropped momentarily as she felt Mr. Aizawa's quirk pass through her, directed at the green haired boy on the field. She moved back and out of the way, surprised. I didn't think that his quirk could affect me while I was in the Void.

 

She shook her head. The affect had only been momentary, and it had affected her lack of gravity, not her presence in reality. Filing that information away to discuss with him later, Veronica directed her attention to the student that Mr. Aizawa was scolding.

 

Izuku Midoriya. She'd read his information sheet, and knew about the outrageous quirk he possessed, as well as the negative backlash it had on his body. She'd been surprised to learn that he was the boy who'd attempted to save the explosive blond last year without using a quirk.

 

Veronica watched curiously as Midoriya stepped forward, focusing his quirk into the tip of his finger. She smiled at his determination and quick thinking. He'll make an amazing hero some day, once he learns to control his quirk. She mentally added him to the top of her watch list. I'll have to do my best to help him moving forward.

 

Bakugo raced forward, screaming at Midoriya as his quirk flared, making Veronica gasp. Mr. Aizawa was quick to catch the furious blond in his scarf, preventing him from attacking. She floated over as Mr. Aizawa talked the boy down, allowing her to stop in front of Bakugo and study his angry expression. What's wrong with him now? Why would he attack Midoriya?

 

Veronica reached her hand out instinctively, wanting to wipe away his frustration. She froze, arm outstretched, as he turned away, clenching his fists and returning to stand with his classmates. What am I doing?

 

"Yo! Mr. Aizawa!" A familiar voice called, shaking Veronica from her thoughts. She watched as Touya came running across the field, smiling and waving, much to Mr. Aizawa's dismay.

 

"Aren't you supposed to be at orientation right now Mr. Mochizuki?" He grumbled, crossing his arms.

 

"Nah, I've already finished up with our presentation. I just came to talk with the President," he grinned, straightening his black blazer.

 

"Very well," Mr. Aizawa waved him away. "I'm not sure where she is, but I've got a class to teach." He turned to his students, leading them back to their testing.

 

"President Unmei!" Touya yelled, drawing the attention of various students as Veronica floated towards him.

 

Shoto turned at the sound of Nica's name, surprised. He watched as she merged back into reality in front of the blue haired boy, her golden hair and dark blue-green skirt fluttering as she dropped the couple of feet to the ground, landing softly. His cheeks turned slightly pink at the realization that she'd been watching his class the whole time.

 

Katsuki glanced in confusion at the mention of the familiar name, and choked on air at Veronica's sudden appearance. It's that damn girl! Has she been here this whole time? He watched through narrowed eyes as she approached her friend.

 

"Vice President Mochizuki," Veronica smiled at him. "What can I do for you?"

 

"I thought I'd bring you something to drink," he winked, handing her a can of coffee before whispering "I figured you didn't have any snacks hidden on the field. Sorry, a drink is all I could do on short noticed."

 

She gave him a small smile. Touya was one of the few who knew that she hid snacks all over the place in the Void. "Thanks," she took the coffee from him. "I'll see you at our committee meeting later."

 

Shoto gritted his teeth as he watched the scene unfold in front of him. He didn't like the way that guy looked at Nica, nor that she'd accepted his gift so easily.

 

"Those two look like such a cute couple!" A girl composed entirely of the colour pink gushed beside him.

 

"No, ribbit," a small green haired girl shook her head. "I don't think they're a couple."

 

"What makes you say that?" The pink girl turned to her. "Didn't you see that he just brought her a drink?"

 

"Look closer, ribbit," the girl shook her head once more. "She's holding the drink down at her side instead of opening it, ribbit. She's just being polite."

 

Shoto looked at the can Veronica now held down by her side. Coffee? He laughed to himself. Nica hated coffee, always complaining about its bitterness. She'd drink it to be polite, just like she was taught, but she much preferred sweeter things. He smiled, remembering all the times he used to sneak her candies and sweets while her aunt wasn't looking. Growing up, Nica's aunt had kept her on a strict diet, limiting anything sugary to public events only, and even then it was only because they were given to her by others.

 

The blue haired boy might have had feelings for her, but she clearly didn't return those feelings if he wasn't aware of her extreme sweet tooth. Watching her face closely, Shoto's theory was confirmed by her usual fake smile and polite eyes. It may not have been noticeable to others, but he'd seen her true smile enough times to know the difference.

 

Touya waved to Veronica as he walked away, probably to go and find the class he'd be responsible for during the rest of the year. She returned her focus to class 1-A, shifting back into the Void and tossing the can of bitter coffee away from herself. She sighed, wishing Touya had been wrong about her lack of hidden snacks in this area of UA.

Chapter Text

Veronica shifted back to reality, going to stand beside Mr. Aizawa as the students finished up their quirk assessment testing. "He's going to come in last, isn't he?" She asked quietly, gesturing to Midoriya.

 

"As he should," he stated coldly, looking over the classes results. "He shouldn't be here."

 

Veronica shook her head. "You're wrong," she said gently, turning to look at the boy in question as he fought through the pain in his hand. "If you can't see the same potential that I do, then there really is no point in him being here. He needs a teacher who's going to look past their own bias in order to lead him in the right direction." She turned back to Mr. Aizawa, looking him in the eye. "Sending him away now is admitting to your own defeat and inability to teach him."

 

He closed his eyes and rubbed his temples, sighing. "You really are meant to be a teacher."

 

Veronica smiled, knowing she’d succeeded in her attempt to keep him from expelling the green haired boy. She watched from the sidelines as Mr. Aizawa revealed the test results, Midoriya coming in last place just as she’d predicted. Glancing at the other results, she noticed that Shoto had placed second, Bakugo following right behind him in third place.

 

She watched as most of the students sighed in relief when Mr. Aizawa informed them that no one would be expelled. "That's it, we're done for the day. I'll be leaving you in the care of Ms. Unmei. Pick up a syllabus in the classroom when she's done with you. Read it over before tomorrow morning."

 

He began to walk away, stopping in front of the relieved last place student. "Midoriya. Take this and go have the old lady fix you up afterwards. Things are going to be tougher tomorrow when your actual training begins. Make sure you're prepared."

 

Veronica made her way to stand in front of the class as Mr. Aizawa disappeared around the corner of the building. "Hello everyone," she smiled, straightening herself up and doing her best to project her voice. "My name is Veronica Unmei, and I'd like to welcome you all to UA. I know you may all be concerned about missing orientation, but that's why I'm here. I'd be lying if I said you were the only class Mr. Aizawa's done this with.” She let out a small laugh, making some of the first years smile.

 

"I'm the president of the Homework Heroes Committee. We're a group of third years that work with the Student Council, as well as your teachers, to ensure that you're getting the most out of your lessons and experience here at UA." Veronica proceeded to explain to them who held the leading positions of the Student Council. "You can spot them around school wearing black blazers similar to mine," she tugged on the bottom of her school blazer. "They, along with other Student Council members, can usually be found after school in the Student Council room located in the fourth floor of building A."

 

"You can also usually find any of the Homework Heroes after school in our club room, which is located across the hall from the Student Council room. We're here to help with any of your studies outside of the classroom, and even provide free tutoring if you need it. Our committee is divided into the four different courses, and you can find any of us based on the different coloured blazers we wear. Red for the Hero Course, green for the General Course, yellow for the Support Course, and blue for the Management Course. The Vice President, Touya Mochizuki and I are the only committee members that wear black like the leading Student Council members. We're also the only students allowed to help you train using your quirks outside of school hours."

 

"Vice President Mochizuki and I are also the only members assigned to a specific class. This year, I'm assigned to class 1-A, so you'll probably be seeing me frequently helping out in classes that involve your physical training. If you ever need to get ahold of us for any reason, you can approach any of the committee members, or your Student Council members, and they should be able to point you in our direction." Veronica took a deep breath, preparing for the flurry of questions that were to come. She glanced towards Shoto, who gave her a reassuring smile, helping her to feel more at ease. "Feel free to ask me any questions you may have before you head out for the day."

 

"Um, Ms. Unmei?" Midoriya raised his hand tentatively. Veronica smiled at him encouragingly before he continued. "You wouldn't happen to be the Veronica Unmei that's won all of the UA Sports Festivals the past couple of years?"

 

The class became a sea of gossip as her smile faltered. I didn't think anyone would realize who I was, especially not any of the first years. She’d done her best to stay away from the spotlight UA threw on her, despite the fact that her name was released each year that she won. After living most of her life being paraded around in front of people like the perfect little doll her aunt had trained her to be, the spotlight was Veronica’s least favourite place.

 

"Um, yeah, I am," she forced her smile to return, voice slightly strained.

 

"Oh wow!" Midoriya gushed, barely able to contain his excitement. "I have so many questions to ask you! How does your quirk work exactly? What's it like when you disappear? Does it..." he continued on, taking her by surprise.

 

"Midoriya," Veronica interrupted, pressing her lips together into a hard line. "Now isn't the time for those types of questions."

 

"Oh, sorry," Midoriya laughed nervously, rubbing the back of his neck.

 

"It's alright." She directed her attention back to the class. "You're free to go if you don't have any questions for me."

 

A few students approached her while the rest slowly began making their way off of the field and back to the school. Both Katsuki and Shoto stood back while a small group formed around Veronica, watching.

 

She looks so different now. Katsuki watched as Deku talked animatedly with Veronica, going on about some crap about finding a time to discuss her quirk. Shitty nerd. She'll never be interested in a bastard like you. Katsuki froze. What the hell?! What am I doing thinking about a stupid girl like her?! He huffed, glancing towards Veronica, taking in her appearance. Her long golden blond hair hung in waves down her back and framed her slightly rounded face. Her black school blazer clung tightly to her curvy frame, her well rounded chest heaving slightly as she smiled and laughed with the anti-gravity girl. She's really pretty when she smiles... Katsuki continues to watch her, his eyes narrowing in on a dark purple bruise on the outside of her right thigh that was almost completely covered by her black thigh high stockings. His nostrils flared angrily. Who the HELL... His mind went back to the memory of Veronica’s aunt standing over her in the hospital. Katsuki's fists clenched at his sides before he stormed off in the direction of the school.

 

Veronica glanced away from the spiky red haired boy known as Kirishima as he rambled on about different physical training regiments, her eyes going to Bakugo as he stomped off towards the school. I'll have to keep an eye on him as well. She sighed, not in the slightest bit happy about the idea of trying to help him train.

 

Shoto waited patiently a few feet away, hoping that his fellow classmates wouldn't have many more questions for Nica. The group slowly dissipated until there were only a couple of students left.

 

"Hey beautiful," a blond haired boy stood in front of her. "I'm Denki Kaminari. Stick with me and I can guarantee things will be electric." Small sparks danced around his fingertips as he winked at Veronica. She fought the urge to roll her eyes, the boy reminding her way too much of Touya.

 

"So, do you have a boyfriend gorgeous?" A short boy with what looked like dark purple rubber balls for hair asked, leaning towards her with a smile.

 

Before she could respond, a slightly cool arm snaked it's way around her waist, pulling her back into a familiarly toned chest. "Are you almost ready to go?" Shoto asked cooly as Veronica relaxed against him, unaware of the pointed look he gave the two boys in front of her.

 

"Oh, yeah, we should get going," Kaminari stuttered, glancing away. "See you around Prez," he waved, quickly making his escape with the shorter boy.

 

"Thank you," Veronica looked up at her friend, giving him a relieved smile now that there was no one left.

 

"Anytime," he stared down at her, his grip tightening on her waist, grey and turquoise eyes sparkling with mischief, his multicoloured bangs falling into his face. "So? Do you have a boyfriend?"

 

Veronica’s breath hitched, heart thumping in her chest. "I...um, I don't think so... not yet anyways," she managed to stutter out, swallowing hard.

 

"Is that so?" Shoto chuckled lowly, the sound vibrating from deep within his chest into her back. "Would you be my girlfriend then?"

 

She choked on air. I didn't expect him to be so straight forward about it, let alone to ask me on the first day of school. She’d known it was coming of course, but she was sorely unprepared for it.

 

"Um, I...um..." Veronica twisted her way out of Shoto’s grasp and spun to face him, cheeks burning. "I guess... um, I mean it's only right. We are technically engaged after all," she finally got out, eyes locked onto her plain brown shoes.

 

Shoto frowned. "Veronica," he said slowly, gently taking her by her chin and pulling her face up to look at him. "I want you to be with me because you want to be, not because you have to be."

 

"I know," she said quietly.

 

Shoto searched her deep blue eyes, eventually sighing before pressing his soft lips to her forehead. "Good," he whispered. Pulling back to look at her again, he gave her a small smile, making Veronica’s heart flutter. "I guess that means I'll just have to take this opportunity to make you fall in love with me."

 

She stood there in shock, mouth agape as he began to walk away. He glanced over his shoulder, flashing her an even wider smile. "I'll text you later, my lovely girlfriend."

Chapter Text

"So, how was class 1-A?" Touya asked, tossing Veronica a bottle of water from the fridge in the club room. She pushed her notebook across the table, leaning back in her chair as she opened the water.

"They're showing quite a lot of potential, though some of them need an attitude adjustment." Veronica sighed, rolling her eyes as Bakugo's angry face popped into her head.

"Is that so?" Touya raised an eyebrow as he sat down on the table beside her. "I'm sure Aizawa was happy to see you at least."

Veronica snorted. "He had the complete opposite reaction to when you showed up, that's for sure."

Touya shrugged. "That's nothing new. How about your boyfriend?" He asked teasingly, wriggling his eyebrows.

"I-I don't know what you're talking about," she stuttered out, looking down at the water in her hands, face becoming flushed. Shoto's mischievous eyes and smooth words filled Veronica's head, making her bite her bottom lip.

"Oh, no way!" Touya laughed, leaning down to get in her face. "You actually have a boyfriend now don't you? And you've only been with class 1-A all day..." he trailed off, smirking. "Nanami was right then, and you just narrowed down the suspects."

"What's it matter anyway?" Veronica grumbled, refusing to look at him as she took a sip of her water.

"Oh, it matters big time," Touya laughed. "I have to figure out which first year I have to intimidate," he proclaimed, thumping his chest.

"You've got to be kidding me," she rolled her eyes at him. "I think you need to go and get your head checked."

There was a loud knock on the open club room door, interrupting Touya before he could reply. Veronica looked over to see a familiar pair of crimson eyes staring at her.

"Bakugo," her eyes widened in surprise. "What's up?"

"Can I talk to you?" His gaze shifted to Touya, eyes narrowing. "Alone."

Touya looked towards Veronica, unsure about leaving her alone with the unknown first year. "It's fine," she nodded to him.

"Okay, I'm going to head home then." Touya gathered up his things and slipped past Bakugo, turning to wave before disappearing down the hall.

"What can I do for you?" Veronica asked him cooly, standing up and walking around the table as he stepped into the club room. She jumped slightly at the sudden thud of the door as he threw it closed behind him, her fight or flight response kicking in.

"She's still hurting you, isn't she?" He demanded lowly, walking towards Veronica, causing her to back up into the table in response.

"What are you talking about?" She deadpanned, doing her best to stand her ground as he came to stand in front of her. Was he always this tall? Veronica looked up into his piercing crimson eyes.

"I'm talking about this," he growled, pushing her down onto the table so that her head was level with his broad chest, his left hand reaching down to rub along the outside of her thigh.

"What the hell do you think you're..." Veronica winced and let out a hiss of pain as he pressed down on the large bruise that decorated her right thigh. "What the fuck!" She yelled, pushing him away.

He grabbed her hands with his, pushing them back down to her sides as she glared up at him. "Well?" He snarled. "Did that fucking bitch hurt you again?!"

Veronica struggled against his hold. "I don't see how it's any of your fucking business!" She spat at him, anger rising. "Now let go of me!"

"SHUT UP!" He roared, making her shake with fear, her wrists beginning to burn and sting.

"Please," her voice cracked, tears blurring her vision. Why is he acting like this? Does he want to hurt me?

Katsuki dropped Veronica's wrists instantly at the sight of her tears, cursing under his breath. FUCK! I didn't want to hurt her. He looked down at her, concern now filling his eyes.

"Veronica, I'm so sorry, I didn't mean to..." he took a step back. "I should go."

Veronica snapped her head up, surprised by the concern and the hurt in his voice. "Bakugo, wait!" She reached her hand out towards him as he turned to leave. "You were just worried about me, right?" She asked slowly, uncertain.

He ran a hand through his messy pale blond hair, huffing in frustration. "Yeah, I guess."

Veronica let out the breath she'd be holding, trying to shake off her own uneasiness. "It's just a bruise," she said quietly.

He shook his head, clenching his jaw. "It's not just a fucking bruise, not if that fucking bitch hurt you. You shouldn't let her do that to you!"

She looked up into his anger filled crimson eyes, lips quivering. "Just let it go, please."

He shook his head once more, hands becoming fists as he turned and stormed out of the room, slamming the door closed behind him. Veronica slowly sunk down to the floor, tears finally overflowing as she broke down.


It had been this way for as long as she could remember. The pleasantries of her aunt Caroline had lasted until she'd brought Veronica home that day, throwing her to the ground the second she walked through her front door.

What happened after that had become a blur long ago, no doubt blocked out by her mind during childhood. Every day that followed had been more of the same, her aunt making it abundantly clear that Veronica was nothing more than her property, something with which she could do as she pleased, be it hitting her or selling her off to be married.

She made Veronica believe that she deserved every second of her abuse, beating into her the belief that she had killed her own mother, and that Veronica could have stopped her death if she'd really wanted to. This left her filled with grief and guilt over her mother's death, something that had nothing to do with Veronica.

She constantly felt empty and broken. She'd already been suffering through this physical, emotional and mental abuse for 3 years by the time she met Shoto. As the years went on, Veronica had kept every detail of it to herself. Her best friend had always had enough of his own problems to deal with, so there was no way in hell that she was going to start dumping hers onto him as well.

So she'd suffered in silence, as she grew up in a cage, stripped of her own freedom and childhood. It got better as Veronica got older, the beatings becoming less frequent as her aunt traveled. No one had ever noticed before, and if they did, it wasn't as if they cared.

So why now? What makes him different from everyone else?


"DIE!" Katsuki screamed in frustration, punching the giant tree in front of him, explosions erupting from his fists. He couldn't get the image of Veronica's pained expression out of his head, the way she'd looked so broken. Why do I even care?!

He stayed like that, screaming and working out his anger until nothing remained but splinters and bloody knuckles. Chest heaving and heart heavy, he made his way home as the sun set. I have to do something.

Chapter Text

Veronica yawned over the stove, fighting the urge to go and crawl back into bed instead of going to school. She'd tossed and turned all night, her brain continuously going over the events of the previous day. By the time she'd gotten Bakugo's crimson eyes and the feeling of his grip on her body out of her mind, her alarm had gone off, signaling the start of a new day.

Veronica turned her head groggily towards the front door as a knock sounded. Who the hell... Do they have any idea what time it is? She grumbled to herself as she trudged reluctantly to the door, preparing to tell off whoever had come to bother her so early in the morning.

She stared blankly at Shoto as she opened the door, slightly stunned at his arrival. "Rough night?" He asked, raising an eyebrow at Veronica as she stepped aside to let him in.

"Something like that," she mumbled, stifling yet another yawn as she closed the door behind him.

He turned to look at Veronica, taking in the sight of her. She wore fuzzy green pajama pants and had bed head, her black tank top slightly askew, revealing some of her lightly toned stomach. "Nightmares again?" He asked softly, quickly looking away from Veronica to set down his school bag and the steaming drink he held in his hand.

She nodded slowly, allowing him to pull her into his warm chest as he rubbed her back sympathetically. Veronica nuzzled her face into Shoto's neck, breathing in the familiar scent of pine. She'd frequently had nightmares growing up, which meant that Shoto was used to seeing her after many restless nights. It also meant that he wasn't going to question her disheveled state, so she wouldn't have to lie about what had happened with Bakugo the day before. She sighed, relaxing into him.

"Here," he pulled away from her, grabbing the travel mug he'd set down. "I brought you your favorite."

"Thank you," Veronica smiled weakly up at him, taking the French vanilla cappuccino and walking back into the kitchen as he followed closely behind.

"What exactly were you trying to make?" Shoto gave her a quizzical look as he went to stand in front of the stove.

Veronica looked over to see that she'd been boiling a pot of water and chocolate cereal. "Oh my god..." she groaned, rubbing her hand down her face. "I don't even know."

Shoto shook his head, laughing quietly, the sound drawing her attention to his smiling lips. They look so soft... Veronica took in a shaky breath, biting her lower lip. "Sit down and drink your cappuccino," he directed, pulling her concoction off of the stove. "I'll make you an actual breakfast."

Veronica nodded, embarrassed, sitting down at the small table as she watched him glide around the kitchen effortlessly. She breathed in the vanilla scented steam, tired eyes never leaving him as he pulled some eggs and bacon from the fridge. Has he always looked this good? His face became serious as he focused on the task at hand, pulling off his grey school blazer and setting it on a chair before beginning to cook. The scene reminded her of the many cooking lessons his older sister had given them growing up.

She took a sip of her drink, closing her eyes and letting out a hum of contentment at the bittersweet vanilla flavor. Shoto glanced towards her at the sound, a smile decorating his lips as he threw on some bacon, then started whisking milk into the eggs. She looks adorable as always. Veronica sat with her eyes still closed, mug cupped between two hands as she continued to sip her cappuccino, a pleased smile on her now relaxed face.

Shoto placed a plate in front of Veronica a little while later, her eyes opening to the sight of seasoned scrambled eggs topped with a heap of bacon. Her stomach growled, mouth watering slightly at the delicious smell. "You know you're awesome, right?" She smiled at him as he leaned down to kiss her hair, something he'd been doing for years. A perk of growing taller than her, Shoto had claimed.

"I know," he smiled against her hair. "I'll go run you a bath while you eat." He'd already disappeared down the hall before she could respond.

And the boyfriend of the year award goes to... Veronica sighed, shaking her head. How'd I get so lucky? She frowned. Not luck, I guess... do I really deserve all of this? Her thoughts returned to Bakugo and his anger at her aunt's physical abuse. Would Shoto act the same way if he found out? Her heart sank as her brain dug up the memory of Caroline showing her just how little anyone would care.

"What are you thinking about so hard?" Shoto whispered, brushing some of her golden locks away from her face. She jumped slightly at his sudden appearance.

"Oh, nothing really," Veronica plastered on a smile and forced a laugh. "Just zoned out for a bit there."

Shoto remained silent, lips forming a line before he nodded. "Finish up your breakfast then."

"Mhm," she nodded back, still forcing a smile. Her appetite had dwindled to nothing, and what would have normally been a delicious breakfast tasted like dirt. She managed to shovel it down anyways, not wanting to worry Shoto.

"Thank you for breakfast. I'll go take that bath now," Veronica stood, quickly taking off down the hall towards the bathroom.

Shoto sighed at her retreating form. It pained him to see her so clearly upset. I wonder what her nightmare was about? It's obviously still bothering her.


"Do you want me to start sleeping over?"

Veronica snapped her head towards Shoto, nearly tripping over her own feet in the process. Is he fucking serious?! We just started dating and he already wants to stay over?! She stared at him, eyes wide.

Shoto frowned at her, readjusting his bag as they walked to school. "Did I say something wrong?"

His voice sounded as indifferent as ever. Maybe he doesn't realize what he just asked? He is younger than me... maybe he hasn't really thought about that kind of stuff yet? Veronica took in his relaxed stance as he walked, his red and white hair fluttering lightly in the slight breeze. He really has grown up a lot... he doesn't look like my cute little Sho-sho anymore. She bit her bottom lip as she took in his broadening shoulders, his tall frame, the way his jaw had sharpened... Maybe it wouldn't be so bad to let him stay over... Oh my god, Veronica! Get your mind out of the god damn gutter! She smacked her cheeks, bringing herself back to reality.

Shoto raised an eyebrow at her odd behavior. What in the world is she thinking about now? I just asked her if she wanted me to stay over, it's not like I asked her to... He cleared his throat, stopping his own thoughts. "Veronica, are you okay?"

"O-oh, um, yeah, just peachy," she smiled at him, embarrassed. "Um, why did you want to sleep over exactly?"

He let out a small laugh. "You didn't use to have so many nightmares when we used to sleep together, remember? I thought it might help to try sleeping beside me again," he gave her a small smile, his cheeks slightly pink as he realized his mistake. It was 100% innocent Veronica, I swear! This way I can just be right there to comfort you when you have nightmares, just like I used to when we were little.

She mentally smacked herself. Right, of course, sweet innocent little Sho-sho, remember? Veronica laughed at herself, shaking her head. "No, it's alright Sho-sho, I'll survive, I promise."

"Alright," his eyes sparkled. He loved when she used the nickname she'd given him as a child. It usually meant that she was in a really good mood. Hopefully, the nightmare isn't bothering her anymore. "Is it okay if I hold your hand then?"

"Oh, yeah, of course," Veronica blushed as he took her hand into his, his cool skin sending a shiver up her arm. "We are a couple now. You can hold my hand whenever you want. You don't have to ask."

He nodded as they continued on their way to school.

"Hey Shoto," Veronica started slowly, unsure of how to approach the topic that had been bothering her for a while. "Now that you're starting at UA... are you going to start using all of your quirks?"

He stiffened, halting his steps momentarily before starting again. "Does it matter?" He asked lowly, avoiding her concerned gaze.

"Shoto..." Veronica sighed. "You could do so much more if you used both of your quirks."

His hand tightened almost painfully around hers. "No," he ground out. "I'm going to prove to my father that I don't need his stupid quirk. I'm not his puppet."

Veronica made him stop, reaching her free hand up to turn his face towards hers. His grey and turquoise eyes shone with resentment, his jaw clenched. "I'm sorry," she whispered, tracing the outline of the old burn around his left eye. "I won't bring it up again."

She'd always felt guilty about what had happened after she'd left for boarding school. Maybe if I'd still been there with him... maybe if his mom had seen us playing together like always... maybe she wouldn't have hurt him. Maybe she'd have seen less of his father in him if I'd still been there... Tears started to form in her eyes as she looked at him, fingers still trying to sooth away the anger on his face.

Shoto's eyes shifted towards Veronica, her saddened appearance bringing him back to the present. He wrapped his arms around her, pulling her into his body so that he could bury his face in her blond hair, breathing in the familiar scent of her vanilla shampoo. "I'm sorry too," he mumbled against her head. "I didn't mean to upset you. It was a valid question."

Veronica nodded into his chest, breathing in deeply to calm herself. "We should get going to school," she whispered.

"Okay," he kissed her forehead, taking her hand in his once more and leading her down the street.


"Yo, Veronica!" Shoto's hand tightened around Veronica's as they approached UA, Touya's excited face coming into view. Veronica waved her free hand as he walked towards them, his blue eyes focusing on their linked hands, then on Shoto as he raised his eyebrows.

"Don't you dare start," Veronica narrowed her eyes at Touya as he opened his mouth to speak, no doubt to continue his teasing from yesterday.

"Alright, cool your jets," he raised his hands in surrender, laughing. "Nana's looking for you anyways."

"Already?" Veronica frowned. "School hasn't even started yet."

Touya shrugged. "You know how she is. She's probably wondering about the first years. Speaking of which..." he directed his attention towards Shoto. "I don't think I've had the pleasure. I'm Veronica's best friend and Vice President, Touya Mochizuki," he held his hand out towards Shoto, who stiffened slightly.

"Touya!" Veronica smacked him on the shoulder. "Nana would have your head if she heard you claiming her position as my bestie."

Shoto relaxed again, glad that the blue-haired boy had been bluffing. "I'm Shoto Todoroki, Veronica's boyfriend," he stated coldly, giving Touya a pointed look. He clenched his jaw in response as Shoto released Veronica's hand to shake his.

"Todoroki, eh?" Touya narrowed his eyes slightly. "You wouldn't happen to be the son of who I think you are?"

"Touya..." Veronica warned lowly, stepping between the two of them. Shoto's father was the worst topic he could possibly start with. She wanted the two of them to get along after all, and Shoto had about as good of a relationship with Endeavour as she did with her aunt.

Shoto wrapped his arms around Veronica's waist, surprising her as he pulled her back into his toned chest, resting his head on her shoulder. "And if I am?" He asked cooly before nuzzling into Veronica's neck, making her gasp.

Touya glared at him, anger rolling across his body. He'd been trying to get with Veronica since the day he'd met her, and now, here was his love rival, rubbing it in his face that he'd gotten to her first. BASTARD! He clenched his fists and turned away from them. "Whatever. Go see Nanami when you get the chance, Veronica," he said before heading back towards the school.

"Shoto, what are you doing?" She twisted out of his grasp and turned towards him, hands on her hips as she tried to ignore her own embarrassment. "I know he upset you, but we're at school now, you can't be doing that here." I don't need people gossiping about us doing inappropriate things at school, especially since I'm supposed to be a role model.

"Sorry Veronica," he sighed, brushing some of her hair out of her face. She looks so adorable when she's trying to be mad. I just couldn't let that guy think he had a chance with her. "Nanami's the Student Council President, right? You should go and see her before class starts."

"Yeah, okay," Veronica huffed, looking back up at him. "I've got some things to do at lunch today, so I'll see you after that. I'll be helping out in your class today."

"Alright," he gave her a small smile as she waved and headed off towards the school ahead of him. He watched her go, her small form disappearing into the void as she jumped towards one of the school walls.

"Hey, Todoroki!" He turned to see the blond guy that had been flirting with Veronica yesterday waving as he walked towards him. "How are you doing buddy?"

"Fine," he nodded towards his classmate. "Is there something you'd like?"

"Man, we were just wondering how you managed to snag a senior girl on your first day?" A spiky red-haired guy appeared behind the blond, smiling widely.

"Yeah, good going man!" Kaminari patted Shoto on the shoulder, surprising him. "I'm Denki Kaminari if you didn't know, and this is Eijiro Kirishima," he motioned towards his smiling friend.

"So how'd you manage to get with a hot girl already?" Kirishima continued, leaning against Kaminari. "I've never seen someone work so fast before."

"Yeah," Kaminari chimed in. "Did you bump into her before going to class or what? Maybe you asked her for directions?"

Shoto shook his head. At least they didn't seem interested in getting to know more about Veronica, just how they ended up together. "We've known each other since we were kids."

"Oh man, seriously?!" Kaminari sighed. "Why couldn't I have had a hot childhood friend?"

"OI! Outta the way extras!" Katsuki pushed through their group, ignoring their protests.

"Hey, Bakugo!" Kirishima called after him, taking the opportunity to follow Katsuki into the school.

"We should go to class as well," Shoto suggested, quickly following the others.

"Hey, wait for me!" Kaminari yelled, rushing to catch up as they made their way to class.

Chapter Text

Veronica walked quickly down the hallway, moving around other students making their way to the lunch hall. She'd hoped to find Mr. Aizawa quickly so that she could go to have her own lunch before it was time for class again. It wouldn't look very good to be eating while trying to help with class 1-A's training that afternoon.

She skirted around a group of first-year girls who were standing in the middle of the hall, gossiping about some of the senior boys. Veronica rolled her eyes when she heard Touya's name. Ever the playboy, he'd probably worked his availability into the presentation at orientation yesterday.

She was so focused in on their conversation that she didn't notice the other student making his way around them, causing them to collide. A pair of strong arms reached out to keep Veronica from falling into the gossiping girls, pulling her into his chest instead.

"WHAT THE FUCK! Watch where the hell you're going!" He screamed down at her, making the first years turn to watch the commotion.

"SHIT! I'm so- " Veronica froze, her eyes meeting an all too familiar pair of crimson ones as she looked up at him. "Bakugo?" She breathed out in surprise, realizing just how close they were.

"Do I look like someone else?" The ashen blond glared down at her, the muscles in his arms flexing as he readjusted his grip on Veronica.

She gulped. "Sorry, I didn't run into you on purpose, honest," she raised her hands in surrender, her palms grazing against his chest in the process. Holy crap! How much does he work out? Her attention was drawn back to the group of girls as they started giggling, gossiping as they watched them curiously. "Hey, um, Bakugo?" Veronica pushed against his well-defined chest, trying to ignore the pleasant feeling of his muscles beneath her fingers as he continued to glare down at her. "Can you, ah, let me go now?" She managed to stutter out, embarrassed at how they no doubt looked.

His arms dropped from her instantly as he scowled at the girls, which just made the whole situation look even worse. Great. Good going Bakugo, now they're going to think you're pissed about them interrupting us. Veronica tried to ignore their whispers as she pushed past Bakugo, hoping that whatever rumors they came up with wouldn't make it back to Shoto. I stick out way too much with this black blazer, there's no way they could think I was someone else.

"Where are you going?" Katsuki huffed, quickly following her.

She spun towards him, clearly annoyed. "I don't see how it's any of your business."

"OI! It's my business if I want it to be my business," he growled back at her.

You've got to be fucking kidding me! "What do you want Bakugo?" Veronica snapped at him. "I've far more important things to be doing than standing here chatting it up with you. If you want to gossip, go back to those girls," she waved back in the direction of the first years, then turned to keep walking towards the teachers' lounge.

"HEY!" He grabbed onto her wrist, preventing her from going any further. "I'm trying to talk to you!"

"And I just told you, I have better things to do," she ground out, trying to pull her wrist from his grasp. God damn it! Why's he have to be so strong? Veronica clenched her jaw. Trying to merge while he was holding onto her was out of the question. It was far too risky. I wouldn't want to accidentally pull him into the Void with me.

"Would you just listen to me already!" He tugged her closer to him by her wrist, lowering his voice. "I want to talk about yesterday."

Veronica froze. God, what now?! "Fine," she hissed, reluctantly following as he pulled her around the corner and into an empty classroom. "Well?" She demanded, crossing her arms once he'd let go of her wrist.

Katsuki closed the door before turning and coming to stand in front of her. "I wanted to apologize for how I acted yesterday."

"Oh really?" She snorted. "You have a funny way of apologizing."

"Shut up," he growled at her. "I shouldn't have bothered you about it yesterday, I know it's none of my business."

Figures. She was right, no one really cares. "And yet here we are," she snapped at him, slightly hurt. What did I expect, really?

Katsuki ignored her comment, leaning back against a desk. "Does he know?"

"What?" Veronica looked at him, confused. "Does who know what?"

"That half and half bastard you were with this morning," Katsuki narrowed his crimson eyes. "Does he know you're being hurt?"

"People are hurt all the time," she shrugged. "What's it matter if he knows?"

Katsuki clenched his hands around the edge of the desk, trying to stay calm. Is she so stupid that she doesn't know what's happening to her? "Does. He. Know?" He ground out through his teeth.

Veronica shifted uncomfortably under his intense gaze. What the hell does he want? Why does he care if Shoto knows or not? "No," she finally huffed. "He doesn't know."

Katsuki relaxed slightly. "Good."

"Good?" She eyed him incredulously. What the hell is this guy playing at?

"Good. If he doesn't know, then I don't have to hurt him," he stated coolly.

"Wait, what?" She gaped at him. "What the hell are you going on about?"

"He's your boyfriend, right? He shouldn't be letting you get hurt," he stated, standing up and starting towards the door.

"Wait!" Veronica jumped in front of him, blocking his path. "You aren't going to tell him, are you?"

"So what if I am?" He glared down at her.

"Don't, Bakugo," she warned. "He doesn't need to know, he has enough of his own shit to deal with."

"He's your boyfriend," he growled at her. "He's supposed to protect you."

"No! I won't let you tell him!" Veronica ducked back around him frantically, preparing to merge into the Void and find Shoto as quickly as possible.

"OI! DON'T YOU DARE DISAPPEAR!" Katsuki grabbed her arm, throwing her back against the door and bringing his arms up to block her way of escape. "What the hell is wrong with you?!" He brought his face close to hers, his breath fanning her cheeks. Veronica's breath hitched, heart thumping in her chest as he scowled down at her. "Do you enjoy being hurt or something?"

"Yeah right," she scoffed at him. "What happens to me is none of your fucking business, so back off!" She snarled.

"GOD DAMN IT, WOMAN!" He yelled in frustration, hitting his hands against the door. Can't she see that I'm trying to help her? Katsuki gritted his teeth, taking in Veronica's exasperated appearance. Her golden hair was now tangled at the ends, her bangs falling into her face. Her black blazer was twisted and wrinkled, her chest heaving as she stared up at him. She pressed her light pink lips into a hard line, her blue eyes bright with anger. God, she looks hot as fuck when she's pissed.

"What?" Veronica snapped, trying to keep her breathing even. He's way too fucking close! She pulled in a shaky breath as he stared down at her, the slight scent of smoke and cinnamon filling her nose. Why does he smell so fucking good? He towered over her, his muscled arms and well-defined chest keeping her trapped against the door, ash blond hair falling slightly into his face, crimson eyes locked onto hers.

Veronica gulped, biting her lower lip. Katsuki's eyes focused in on the small movement. What the hell is this? Her heart threatening to beat out of her chest, she tipped her head up towards him, her vision becoming slightly hazy. What the hell is this feeling? Why do I feel so hot?

Katsuki growled lowly as Veronica nibbled her bottom lip, the sound sending shivers down her spine. He leaned down slightly to press his forehead against hers, breathing in her vanilla scent. What the fuck is she doing to me? Why do I want to kiss her so damn bad?

A knock sounded on the door behind them, making them both jump in surprise, breaking the heated moment. "Hey, anyone in there?" An unfamiliar voice called.

"Yeah!" Katsuki yelled back, moving away from Veronica.

She merged into the Void the second he stepped away, her face burning. She pushed off of the ground, escaping through the ceiling to the next floor, not bothering to stick around to see who'd interrupted them.

What the actual fuck Veronica! What the hell were you doing with him?! You have a boyfriend! She screamed out in frustration, happy that no one could hear her in the Void. Why the hell did I want him to kiss me?! Fuck!

Chapter Text

"There you are!" Nanami's voice sounded above Veronica, making her bury her head deeper into the pillow. "Hey now, no hiding!" She ripped the blanket off of Veronica, then attempted to wrestle the pillow from her arms.

"Go away Nana," Veronica grumbled weakly at her, face still hidden in the pillow.

"Veronica!" She whined. "This couch is for when you have students in here to study, not for you to sleep on."

Sleeping? I wish! She'd managed to hide away in the Homework Hero's club room, her task of finding Mr. Aizawa forgotten. How the hell am I going to face Shoto after what happened with Bakugo? Guilt ate away at her stomach, making her feel nauseous. Did I really want him to kiss me?

"Come on!" Nanami tugged on Veronica's blazer. "I wanted to let you know that you can't help with the first years today. They've switched up our training course, so you can't miss today's class."

Veronica sat up abruptly, staring at her in surprise. "Are you serious?" There's no way I'm that lucky. Not being able to help out would mean not having to face Shoto right away, and more importantly, not seeing Katsuki.

"Obviously," she sighed. "I already let the first year teachers know since I couldn't find you at the start of lunch. You would have known sooner if you'd answered your god damn phone!" She glared at Veronica accusingly.

If only she knew... "Sorry Nana," she smiled sheepishly at her. At least I have time to organize my thoughts now.

"They still want you to watch the training afterward though. Something about wanting input on the first set of simulated battles I think?" She waved her hand, then sat down on the couch beside Veronica. "You'll have to go grab the recordings from their homeroom at the end of the day. Now," she turned to look at her best friend, concern lining her soft features. "What's up? Why have you been hiding out in here? I thought you'd be eating with your boyfriend."

"Oh, um," Veronica sighed in defeat. "I kind of got into this huge argument with one of the first years about some stupid stuff. It made a huge scene and I just kind of wanted to get away after that," she fibbed, hoping half of the truth would be enough to satisfy Nana's curiosity.

Nanami frowned. "I'm sorry that happened. I know you aren't really one for being in the spotlight, so I guess I can see why you'd hide after something like that." She patted Veronica on the shoulder reassuringly. "Try not to let it bother you too much."

"Yeah, I'll try," she smiled weakly at her. Hopefully I'll be able to just forget about the whole Bakugo thing by the end of training.

"Come on, we should head to class now," Nanami stood up, giving Veronica her signature megawatt smile. "We wouldn't want to miss beating the crap outta the guys today!"


Veronica slowly made her way down the hall to classroom 1-A, fidgeting nervously with the hem of her school blazer. What the hell am I going to do if Bakugo says something to me? He'll probably get really pissed and make a scene if I try to ignore him.

She heard the excited chatter of the first years as she neared the open classroom door. She took a deep breath before stepping into the doorway, plastering a smile on her face as she knocked lightly, drawing everyone's attention. A quick scan of the classroom told Veronica that Katsuki was no longer there, a wave of relief washing over her.

"Ms. Unmei," Mr. Aizawa looked towards her lazily. "We just recently finished class. I take it you're here for this?" He held up a disk, no doubt filled with the recordings of their earlier battle training.

"Yes, thank you," Veronica nodded, walking towards his desk and taking the disk from him, throwing it into her school bag.

"I'll be headed out then," he grumbled before walking past her and leaving the class.

Veronica turned to see Shoto making his way towards her from his desk, school bag in hand. "Are you ready to go?" She asked him quietly once he'd stopped in front of her.

He nodded, grabbing her hand and quickly leading her out of the classroom. She heard a few words of gossip about their status as a couple from his classmates as they walked out the door.

"Sorry that I wasn't able to help out in your class today," Veronica smiled weakly at Shoto as they made their way out of the school. "They switched around our training schedule so I couldn't miss my class today."

"It's okay," he shrugged. "Did you get what you needed to get done at lunch today?"

Veronica's heart sank into her stomach, her throat becoming dry. You just had to ask about that... "No," she finally got out, shaking her head slowly as Shoto watched her curiously. "Something else came up."

"Something else?" He raised an eyebrow at her odd behavior. "What happened?"

I don't want to lie to him, but I can't tell him about Bakugo. Not only would it upset him, but I'd have to talk about why he approached me in the first place... "My aunt called me. We kind of got into a fight over the phone..." she lied, hoping he'd buy it. While he didn't know about her abuse, he did know that Veronica didn't get along well with her aunt. "I just didn't want to deal with anyone after that." That wasn't a lie, she really had been avoiding people.

Shoto sighed and rubbed her knuckles in an attempt to comfort her. "Let me know next time, okay? I could have stayed with you and made you feel a bit better at least."

The corners of Veronica's mouth perked up with the hint of a smile, tears starting to form in her eyes. "Thank you. I'll remember that next time." He's so good to me, how could I even begin to think about being with someone else?

"Do you want me to come and watch the training videos with you? That way you don't have to be alone for a while tonight." Genuine concern filled his deep voice, making her heart hurt. He so rarely showed any real emotion, not since he was younger, so it was always a nice change to his usually stoic state.

"Sure, I'd really like that," Veronica smiled up at him, getting lost in his soft grey and turquoise eyes.

He smiled faintly. "We haven't had a movie night since we were younger, so let's grab some snacks and order pizza for dinner, okay?"

Her smile grew. "Yeah, that sounds like a great idea."


Veronica sat down on the couch next to Shoto, a large bowl of air-popped popcorn in her hands. They'd stopped by his place earlier so that he could change out of his school uniform and into some dark lose fitted jeans and a navy blue t-shirt. Veronica had opted for a simple pair of black workout leggings and a light purple tank top, your golden blond hair now thrown up in a messy ponytail.

Shoto wrapped his arms around Veronica's waist as she sat down, surprising her as he quickly pulled her into his lap. "Um, Shoto?" She twisted around in his arms to look back at him questioningly.

"It's fine," his arms tightened around her slightly, voice low and gentle. "I just want to hold you."

Veronica nodded slowly, turning back to face the T.V. as she hit play on the remote, snuggling back into his chest. He wasn't quite as muscular as Katsuki, but he was still relatively well toned from his training, and it felt nice to relax into his familiar pine scent. He leaned forward slightly, resting his chin on her shoulder, his warm breath fanning the side of her face as he watched the screen with her. It felt so right, just to be snuggled in Shoto's lap. It almost felt like they were made for each other. The perfect couple, just like they want. Veronica shook away the bitter thought. No, this feels right, this feels like... home.

She watched as Midoriya and Uraraka snuck into the building on screen, jumping slightly when Katsuki suddenly appeared and attacked. Shoto chuckled slightly at her reaction, the sound vibrating down her spin. Good counter. Veronica nodded to herself as she watched Midoriya throw Katsuki to the ground.

She leaned forward in Shoto's lap, becoming engrossed in the fight between the two boys on screen as she tried to decipher their words and actions. Damn it! Why didn't they record any sound?

Shoto leaned back against the couch, keeping his hold on Veronica as she watched the screen intently, making sure that she wasn't going to fall face first onto the ground accidentally. He smiled to himself, happy to be able to witness another side of her as she made mental notes on the match. I can't wait to learn even more about her in the coming years.

Shoto couldn't remember exactly when he'd fallen in love with Veronica. He recalled being very upset when she left for school and had always spent the time during the week anxiously waiting for her return on the weekends. He remembered how he'd love snuggling up to her in bed, the way she'd wrap her arms around him and read him all kinds of stories before going to sleep. He'd often thought of Veronica as a princess who'd been stolen away by her evil aunt, one who was waiting for him to come and save her and take her away with him.

It hadn't been until that day when he was 8 though, that he realized he'd loved her. He frowned at the memory of the older boy trying to get Veronica to go off and play with him instead. He remembered getting mad and trying to use his quirk to make the boy go away, and he remembered how angry she'd been at him.

"Shoto! You can't hurt people just because they make you mad," a 10-year-old Veronica scolded him.

"But, he's trying to take you away!" He'd cried, hugging onto her body.

"Shoto... No one's going to take me away from you, okay? We're best friends, remember?" She'd smiled down at him, hugging him back and trying to wipe away his tears.

"Are we still going to get married?"

"Yes, Shoto, when we're older, okay? I promise."

Even though they were both technically being forced to be together, Veronica had never resented him for it. She treated him like he was no different from anyone else, and it had only made him love her more.

"Smart move," Veronica whispered to herself, noting Iida's preparation for Uraraka. He'd had the foresight to move anything she could use as a weapon with her quirk away from them.

"What is he- Oh my god!" She gasped as Katsuki unleashed a massive blast at Midoriya using his gauntlet. "What the hell! He can't do that in a building!"

Shoto carefully pulled Veronica back further into his lap, moving his arms from around her and placing them on her hips. He rubbed his thumbs against her sides gently in an attempt to calm her down. "He won't do it again. All Might told him he'd lose if he did."

She nodded, eyes still glued to the screen. Veronica watched as Uraraka launched herself at the weapon, Iida quickly moving to grab it away from her reach.

"Oh wow," she gasped in surprise as Katsuki maneuvered himself in the air around Midoriya using a carefully calculated blast. "He's smarter than he looks."

Shoto nodded at her comment. "I was surprised too."

"Wait, this is getting out of hand!" Shoto tightened his grip on her hips as she jumped forward, nearly falling from his lap as she scowled at the screen. "What the hell is All Might doing?! He needs to step in!"

Veronica's hands gripped onto the edges of the popcorn bowl in her lap painfully as Katsuki and Midoriya launched themselves at each other. She watched the rest of the battle in pure awestruck horror as Uraraka finally managed to grab the weapon.

"I should have been there!" Veronica screamed in frustration and anger, throwing the popcorn bowl to the floor, making a mess. "FUCK! I could have stopped that! I could have-"

"Hey! Shhh... shhh... shhh..." Shoto pulled her back into his chest, trying to calm her down. I've never seen her so worked up before. "It's over now. There's nothing you could have done, you would have just gotten hurt."

"Don't you dare underestimate me!" She yelled, twisting in his hold. "I've been training for this! I carry things like tranquilizers in my utility belt just to knock people out when shit like this happens! I could have prevented this!"

"Okay! Okay!" Shoto replied frantically, trying to correct his mistake as he hugged Veronica tightly, preventing her from escaping his hold. "I'm sorry! It's over now, okay? Midoriya's okay! Recovery Girl made sure he was."

She twisted in his grasp for a few more seconds before giving up, slumping back into his chest, anger dissipating. "God damn it, All Might... you should have stepped in..."

"Shhh," Shoto continued to sooth, pressing his lips to the top of her head. "Next time. You'll be there to step in and stop it next time if need be, okay?"

Veronica pulled in a shaky breath, finally allowing herself to relax in his arms once more, breathing in his pine scent and allowing his warmth to calm her. "Okay."

Chapter Text

Shoto released his hold on Veronica, grabbing the remote to pause the video as she slipped off of his lap to clean up the mess she'd made. She threw the popcorn back into the bowl as she picked it up, taking it to the kitchen to throw it out and grab a bag of potato chips instead.

 

Returning to the living room, Veronica sat back down on the couch beside Shoto, leaning back against him and stretching her legs out over the other end. He adjusted slightly, turning so that he was leaning back, his arms slipping around her waist as she rested her head on his chest. He pressed play on the remote as she ripped open the bag of chips, returning her eyes to the TV screen.

 

Veronica watched as Shoto and his classmate, Shoji, appeared on the screen. Shoji used his quirk to locate the students playing the villains. She frowned as she saw Shoto's hero costume for the first time, his entire left side covered in what was supposed to look like ice. He's trying so hard to not show any resemblance to his father. Shoto had always been reluctant to use his fire quirk, not wanting anything to do with his abusive father. Every time she brought up the subject, he'd always lead the conversation away immediately, or just stay silent. When will he learn that just because he has the same quirk as Endeavour, doesn't mean that they are the same? Fire quirk or not, who he becomes is up to him.

 

The Shoto on screen quickly froze the entire building as Shoji made his way outside, protecting himself from the ice. It was obvious who the winners were as Shoto made his way through the building to the fake weapon, his opponents stuck in place. Once he'd touched his target, he proceeded to thaw out everything that he'd frozen.

 

"Good job," Veronica tipped her head back to look up at him, blushing when she noticed that his eyes had been fixated on her the entire time instead of the video.

 

"Thank you," his lips twitched into a smile as she quickly looked back towards the TV. She's so cute!

 

Veronica continued to take mental notes and snack on chips as they watched the rest of class 1-A's battle training. After the first battle, there weren't any more significant injuries, causing a massive wave of relief to wash over Veronica as she learned that her help had only really been needed for the first group. But why didn't All Might step in then?

 

Shoto sat up, jostling her from her thoughts. "Do you want to order some pizza now?" He asked, grabbing his phone and pulling up the online ordering app.

 

"Oh, yeah," she laughed, slightly embarrassed as your stomach rumbled in response.

 

He let out a low chuckle. "Alright. What would you like on your pizza?"

 

Veronica sat up and turned to face him, crossing her legs. "I'm good with just pepperoni on my pizza."

 

He nodded, looking down at his phone to place their order. "What do you want to watch now?" He asked a few seconds later.

 

"I have absolutely no idea," she shrugged, grabbing the remote and switching on Netflix. "I don't normally have time to watch TV, so I don't know what to recommend." There were a couple of shows that she'd started to watch in her free time, but most of her days were filled with school work and extracurricular activities.

 

Shoto shook his head. "Your guess is as good as mine. I'm usually too busy training to watch stuff."

 

Duh, Veronica! She mentally smacked herself. He has just as much freedom as I do, maybe even less. Veronica kept flipping through the movie selection, trying to find something that caught her eye. "Do you want to watch a kids movie then? I think the last movie we sat down and watched together was that Rapunzel one."

 

Shoto smiled, remembering the last time he'd watched a movie with Veronica. He'd been about 7 years old, singing along with her as they watched Tangled for probably the millionth time. He'd often imagine Veronica as Rapunzel, seeing her aunt as the evil stepmother that locked her away in a tower.

 

"Let's watch that one again, it's been a while," he mused, leaning back against the couch, bringing his legs up and laying them down on either side of Veronica's sitting form.

 

"O-okay," she stuttered out, surprised that he'd actually wanted to watch that. Veronica quickly searched for the movie, her senses on high alert as she tried to ignore the warmth of Shoto's toned legs around her. Why the hell am I getting so nervous around him? He's the same guy he was last week, the only difference is that now we're dating. His grey and turquoise eyes watched her curiously as she found the movie. She hit play, quickly moving to lean back against the opposite end of the couch, stretching her legs out on top of his. Some distance should help... I hope.

 

Shoto frowned slightly as he watched Veronica move away from him. "You were supposed to come and lay on me."

 

"No, um, it's okay. I'm fine right here." She quickly returned her focus to the TV, trying to hide her embarrassment.

 

Shoto sighed, pulling his legs out from underneath hers and turning so that he was sitting between her legs with his back facing Veronica. He slowly laid back down, resting his head on her stomach, turning his head to watch the movie. Veronica looked down at him, surprised by his behavior. It'd been a long time since they'd been able to sit and relax together away from their families' expectations. She instinctively reached her right hand out to play with his soft white hair, returning her attention to the TV screen.

 


Veronica jumped slightly when the doorbell rang a while later, signaling the arrival of their dinner. Shoto remained still, and when she looked down, she saw that he'd fallen asleep. My little Sho-sho, she smiled to herself, her fingers still dancing through his hair. The doorbell sounded again, reminding her of the pizza. Sighing, she moved her hand from his head to his shoulder, shaking him gently. "Sho-sho, you have to get up, the pizza's here."

 

He groaned, rolling onto his stomach and burying his head into her, making Veronica giggle at the slightly ticklish sensation. "Shoto, come on, I'm hungry." Her stomach growled as if to prove her point.

 

He propped himself up onto his elbows, glaring at her stomach. "You just had to work against me, huh?" He scolded her tummy, making her laugh at his behavior. Shoto looked up at Veronica with a smile, his bright eyes shining up at her through his bangs, making her heart melt. He looks so much like a little kid.

 

"Don't worry, I'll go and get it," he sprung up from the couch, leaving to go and grab their dinner.

 

It's been so long since I've seen him like this. Maybe it's because of the movie, or because there's no one here to bother us. He's been here to visit me before, but I'd been so busy since attending UA that it was just easier to go and visit him when I had the free time. I hope that'll change, now that I have a little more freedom. At least I'll get to see him while working with his class this year.

Chapter Text

Veronica had managed to get a decent amount of sleep that night, which meant that she was actually awake and had showered by the time Shoto arrived.

"What would you like for breakfast this morning?" Shoto smiled as he handed Veronica her morning cappuccino, leaving her to follow him into the kitchen.

"I can make these myself you know?" She set down the blue travel mug he'd handed her. "And I do know how to make my own breakfast, contrary to how it looked yesterday."

"I know," he let out a low chuckle, the sound sending shivers down her spine. "But I'm your boyfriend now. I'm supposed to take care of you."

He's your boyfriend... he's supposed to protect you... Katsuki's words rang through her head. She quickly shook away the memory. He's wrong! It's not Shoto's job to look after me. I'm in training to be a pro hero, god damn it! I can look after myself.

"Besides, I love spoiling you," Shoto whispered, so low that she almost didn't hear him. He started to rummage around in the fridge for ingredients, pausing suddenly. "You'll tell me if I'm too... if I'm interfering too much, right? I don't want to scare you away..." he trailed off, his grey and turquoise eyes filling with unspoken sadness and fear as he looked towards you.

"Shoto..." Veronica walked towards him, wrapping her arms around his waist and pulling him into a gentle hug. "You won't scare me off. I've known you since we were kids, we're best friends remember?" He slowly wrapped his arms around her, tightening the hug. They stayed like that for a few minutes, the sound of Shoto's breathing and rapid heartbeat filling Veronica's ears, his familiar pine scent surrounding her. She pulled back slightly looking up at him, a teasing smile appearing on her lips. "Coming here in the morning may be a bit much for the beginning of our relationship, but I'll let it slid for today. How about you just come to pick me up for school for now?"

Shoto nodded slowly. "I can do that... but on one condition." Veronica raised her eyebrow questioningly as he shot her a small smile. "I still get to bring you your morning cappuccino."

"Deal," she laughed lightly, finally stepping away from his embrace.


Their walk to school that morning was filled with a pleasant silence. Shoto's hand felt warm and comforting as it intertwined with hers, the smell of vanilla filling Veronica's nose as she happily sipped her drink. This feels so nice... She snuck a peek at Shoto, a warm feeling spreading through her body when she saw his sweet smile, his thoughts elsewhere. They'd always found comfort in each other's presence, and today was no exception. Birds chirped from nearby, the sun shining brightly through the trees that lined the street, casting small dancing shadows on the sidewalk. Is this what love feels like? Veronica gasped softly at her own thoughts, drawing Shoto's attention as she tried to hide her blushing face by looking the other way.

"What are you thinking about?" His breath fanned her neck as he leaned down to whisper in her ear, his low voice sweet and full of humor.

"N-n-nothing!" She stammered, dropping his hand and taking a step back, waving her hands around in front of herself. "Nothing at all!"

Shoto's eyes sparkled with mischief as he took in Veronica's flushed appearance and frantic gestures. "Were you-"

"President Unmei! Todoroki!" A familiar voice called. Shoto frowned, clearly upset with the interruption as they turned to see the green haired first year smiling and waving as he ran.

"Hey Midoriya," Veronica smiled as he came to a stop in front of them, thankful for the distraction from her embarrassment. "What's up?"

"Oh, hi," he smiled nervously, fidgeting. "I just happened to see you guys and thought that maybe we could all walk to school together since we're going to the same place."

"Sure," Veronica nodded, glancing at Shoto who reluctantly followed suit. Ha! Can't talk about what you wanted to now. She smirked, glad to be off the hook and away from what would have been a very embarrassing conversation.

"Really?" He smiled brightly at them. "That's great then, let's go!" Midoriya started off to school.

Shoto grabbed Veronica's hand quickly as she went to follow Midoriya, stopping her as he leaned down to whisper in her ear once more. "Don't think you're off the hook just because he showed up. We'll be finishing this conversation later." He started to walk away, pulling her along as she stared at her feet, face on fire.

What the hell?! I've never seen him act like this before... Veronica gulped, remembering that Shoto wasn't a little kid anymore. In fact, he was a teen quickly growing into a young man. And that young man is going to be my husband...


Veronica was finally able to push aside Shoto's flirtatious words as she chatted aimlessly with Midoriya on the way to school. Shoto remained silent, watching intently as she discussed Midoriya's hero journals with him.

As they approached the school grounds, a mob of reporters began to surround the three of them. What the hell? This must be about All Might... Pushing through the crowd and dodging their questions, they were finally able to make it past them to UA.

"Oh, would I be able to ask you about your quirk now?" Midoriya smiled as they walked through the front gate.

"School's going to be starting soon, so we should probably be heading to class," Shoto interjected.

"Oh, yeah, I guess you're right," Midoriya deflated.

"It's okay," Veronica smiled at him reassuringly. "We can always talk about it after school. I should be free, and you'll be able to find me in the Homework Heroes club room. But just in case," she pulled her cell phone out of her school bag. "Let's swap numbers so that we can contact each other in case something else comes up."

"Oh, okay," Midoriya pulled out his phone, blushing slightly. "If it's not too much trouble, then sure."

"Of course it's no trouble," she laughed slightly, waving away his concerns. "I'm your senpai, remember? It's my job to answer all of your questions and help you in any way that I can."


Katsuki was furious. Why the hell is that stupid nerd talking to her? That fucking Deku! He glared as he watched the scene unfolding before him, his hands forming fists as he watched Veronica swap numbers with Midoriya. What the hell gives him the right to get her fucking number?!

"We should get going," Shoto squeezed Veronica's hand, pulling her towards the school as she turned slightly and waved goodbye to Midoriya. He's not jealous, is he?

"Shoto..." Veronica started, making him turn to face her, raising an eyebrow in question. "You aren't... upset? With me talking to Midoriya and giving him my number I mean..."

Shoto smiled, chuckling. "Would you prefer that I was?"

"No, I just... I mean, wouldn't most guys be upset about that?" She bit her lip, unsure.

His expression turned serious. "Veronica, I know you aren't that type of person. I trust you, okay?" He smiled sweetly, a feeling of guilt slowly sinking into her stomach. I'm such a terrible person... I have to make sure that I don't have any more contact with Bakugo unless absolutely necessary. "You're allowed to make friends, even with guys. I'm not going to stop you."

She nodded, giving him a weak smile. "Okay."


"YOU GOD DAMN DEKU!" Katsuki threw Midoriya up against the wall, explosions erupting from his hands. "YOU STAY AWAY FROM HER YOU HEAR ME!"

"But Kacchan-"

"SHUT UP!" His crimson eyes flashed. It was bad enough that he'd have to get through that half and half bastard, he didn't need to worry about someone else. "THIS IS YOUR ONLY WARNING!" He threw Midoriya to the ground, storming off.

He hadn't been able to get that stupid girl out of his head since yesterday. It's her fault that I lost to Deku! I couldn't think straight because of her! He'd been mad enough when they'd been interrupted in the classroom, Deku winning and witnessing the power of that half and half bastard had just been salt in his wound. He'd seen the look in Veronica's eyes when he had her trapped against the door. She'd clearly been feeling the same thing he was, and there was no way he was going to let her get away next time. Stupid girl, I won't allow you to escape so easily.

Chapter Text

Veronica sighed, leaning back in her chair as Zen shot her a pointed look. "Is there somewhere else you're supposed to be, President Unmei?"

"Oh, cut the crap Zen," Nanami blew a gust of wind at the papers in his hands. "You know none of us really want to be here."

"I agree," Aria pouted. "We're missing out on lunch today..."

"It's not going to take that long," Zen rolled his eyes at her. "We just have to get the paperwork ready for the first year class reps."

Veronica sighed in defeat, glancing out of the window of the student council room. At this rate, I'll never get to enjoy a school lunch with Shoto.

"Hey," Touya tapped on the table in front of Veronica to grab her attention. "You can go, I'll worry about your part."

"What? Touya no, this is part of my-"

"You want to go and eat with him, don't you?" Touya smiled. "You should go and do that now before we get swamped this year."

"He's right," Nanami sighed. "You've already done more than your fair share of the work. We can finish up without you, go and enjoy some time with your boyfriend."

"Really?" Veronica smiled at her friends, glancing at Zen as he shuffled through the papers in front of him.

"I guess you have already done half of our President's work this week..." he shot Nanami an accusatory glance as she quickly looked away, feigning innocence.

Aria giggled. "I can't imagine how crazy this place would be if Veronica weren't here. You're about as organized as..." Nanami smacked her. "Hey! I'm just telling the truth!"

Touya burst out laughing. "Yeah Prez, it wasn't supposed to be a popularity contest you know. You're actually supposed to have some idea of what you're doing."

Veronica bit her lip to keep from laughing as Nanami shot a gust of wind at Touya, sending the pile of sheets in front of him all over the floor. "HEY! I'd just finished organizing those!"

Veronica slapped her hand to her mouth, trying to muffle her laughter. They weren't wrong. Nanami had almost no organizational skills. Sometimes she seemed like a real airhead, making her quirk a perfect fit. "Okay, I'll get going then." She quickly made her escape as Touya and Nanami started yelling at each other, trying to mess up each other's progress. It won't be long till Zen kicks them out and just does the work himself.

Making her way down to the cafeteria, Veronica pulled out her phone, sending Shoto a quick text saying that she was on her way. She rounded the corner, making her way down the long hall to the cafe when someone grabbed her wrist, stopping her in her tracks. "Hey! What do you-" she spun around, face going pale as her eyes met a pair of fiery crimson ones. FUCK!

Veronica quickly jerked her arm away from him, anger rising. "Bakugo, what the hell do you-"

An alarm suddenly sounded above them. "WARNING! LEVEL 3 SECURITY BREECH. ALL STUDENTS, PLEASE EVACUATE THE BUILDING IN AN ORDERLY FASHION."

Veronica's eyes widened in surprise as Katsuki looked around, confused. "What the hell is going-" he was interrupted as a swarm of students came rushing down the hall in a panic. Katsuki grabbed Veronica's arm and pulled her to his chest, spinning so that she was against the wall. He placed his arms out on either side of her body, bracing himself. What is he...? Katsuki swore as someone pumped into him, but he held his ground, keeping Veronica separated from the crowd. Is he trying to protect me?

She stared at him in shock as he looked down at her. "OI! What the hell is happening?"

Veronica shook her head. "I have no idea, I just came from a Student Council meeting. It sounds like someone's broken into the school." She frowned, concern filling her thoughts. Who the hell would do that? Who the hell could do that, or would even dare to?

"You can find out, can't you?" She stared at him blankly. "OI! Use your quirk and figure out what's going on! I'll make sure no one runs you over."

Veronica mentally smacked herself. Duh! Of course, you can do that, you idiot! She nodded, taking in a deep breath and closing her eyes, focusing on the area around them. She was soon floating up above the crowd, her mind separated from her body as everyone moved in slow motion. She directed her attention to where the front gate was located, passing through all of the walls and over the distance to see a crowd of people standing at the school entrance. Focusing on them, Veronica quickly realized that they were the reporters she'd had to fight her way through earlier that day.

Seriously? All this panic just for a bunch of reporters? She felt herself return to her body, opening her eyes to look up at Katsuki. "Well?" He demanded.

"It's just the reporters from this morning," she huffed. "Nothing major."

"God damn bastards!" Katsuki yelled as someone else hit him, startling the students around them.

"Bakugo, how did you know what my other quirk was?" Veronica distracted him from the crowd before he hurt someone. There was nothing they could do to stop them. People were far too panicked. She couldn't risk using her quirk to escape with so many people around. One wrong move and someone could be dragged along with her into the void.

Katsuki returned his focus to Veronica, his crimson eyes meeting her bright blue ones. "I looked up last year's sports festival after Deku said you'd won it," he huffed, glaring at a student that got knocked into them.

"Oh." God damn it Midoriya! You just had to say something about that in front of your entire class.

"Veronica!" She turned towards the familiar deep voice, searching for its owner. Katsuki swore as she ducked out from under his arms, fighting against the crowd to get to where she'd heard Shoto.

"Shoto!" She called back, trying her best to maneuver through the other students as they pushed to get past her. Veronica jumped as a cool arm snaked its way around her waist, tugging her off to the side. "Shoto," she sighed as he pulled her to the windows, taking a similar stance around her that Katsuki had.

"Are you alright?" He searched her over quickly, sighing in relief when he found nothing wrong.

"Yeah, I'm fine. It's just the press outside."

"I know," he gestured out the window, "you can see them from here."

"LISTEN UP! EVERYTHING IS OKAY!" They both turned to look towards the exit, a student Veronica quickly recognized as Tenya Iida drawing everyone's attention. They watched as he quickly explained the situation to the panicked student body, everyone relaxing instantly as sirens began to sound outside.

Good. Hopefully we'll all be able to go back and finish lunch then. Shoto quietly took Veronica's hand and gave her a small smile, leading her back to the cafeteria once the commotion had died down.

Katsuki clenched his jaw as he watched Veronica walk away with Shoto. God damn it! I was so close! I'll have to try and find her after school before that half and half bastard gets to her.

Chapter Text

"Fuyumi-chan!" Veronica called from the modern kitchen, smiling when Shoto's older sister entered.

 

Today Fuyumi was babysitting Veronica and Shoto, since Veronica’s aunt was away and their father had some Hero work to attend to. Shoto was out with his brother, Natsuo, who'd wanted to take him to get ice cream for his 7th birthday.

 

"What is it, Veronica?” Fuyumi walked over to where the 8 year old was seated at their kitchen table, an expanse of cook books spread out in front of her.

 

"I want to make Sho-sho a birthday cake," Veronica smiled triumphantly, waving around one of the open cook books.

 

Fuyumi laughed at her enthusiasm. "I take it you found a recipe then?"

 

"Mhm," she nodded. "And it's going to be delicious!"

 

"Okay," she smiled down at Veronica. "Let's go and get started then. We might even be able to finish before Natsuo and Shoto come back."

 

10 minutes later, Veronica was standing in the middle of the kitchen, chocolate batter smeared all over her face and shirt. Tears started to spill from her eyes as she looked down at the dropped bowl.

 

She’d been carrying the bowl to the counter when it slipped from her hands, most of the contents spilling over the tile floor.

 

"I'm sorry!" Veronica cried, her plans for a surprise birthday cake ruined.

 

"Shhh, it's okay," Fuyumi crouched down beside her, pulling Veronica into her arms. "It was an accident. We can always make some more."

 

"We're home!"

 

Veronica’s head snapped up, tears blurring her vision as Natsuo and Shoto entered the room.

 

"You'll never guess... Whoa, what happened?" Natsuo surveyed the mess that was the kitchen, chocolate puddle and all.

 

Veronica started to cry harder, her efforts now completely wasted. How is Sho-sho going to have a good birthday now?

 

"Veronica?” Shoto ran towards her crying form, concerned.

 

"Shoto, not through the... never mind," Fuyumi sighed as Shoto ran straight through the spilled cake batter. He didn't care, his only concern was his friend.

 

"What's wrong?" Shoto asked as he came to stand directly in front of Veronica. He reached his arms out to hug her as she stayed curled up against his sister.

 

"I-I," Veronica sniffled. "I wanted to make you a cake, but I dropped it. I've wrecked your birthday!" She wailed.

 

Natsuo snorted from across the room, and Fuyumi shot him a glare. "Don't you dare laugh," she mouthed to her younger brother, who used a hand to cover his mouth.

 

"You didn't wreck anything, Veronica,” Fuyumi soothed, rubbing her back. "We just have to make another one." She turned her attention back to Natsuo. "Can you take them and get them cleaned up? I'll worry about the mess in here."

 

Natsuo nodded. "Come on you guys, let's get out of Fuyumi's way."

 

Shoto took Veronica’s hand and lead her to the kitchen doorway. Natsuo instructed them to take off their batter soaked house slippers before taking them to the bathroom. He grabbed a wash cloth and began wiping the chocolate batter off of Veronica’s clothes and face.

 

Shoto kept his hold on Veronica’s hand as she continued to cry, almost completely oblivious to what was going on around her. When Natsuo was done cleaning her up, he left to go and help his sister.

 

"It's okay, Veronica,” Shoto soothed as he led her to his room. "We can still play and have fun."

 

She slowly nodded, sniffling as she wiped away her own tears. "O-okay."

 

Shoto tried showing Veronica the All Might toys his brothers had given him, but she still seemed fairly upset. She couldn't help but feel like she’d somehow ruined his birthday.

 

"We don't have to play if you don't want to," Shoto frowned. "We can do something else."

 

Veronica shook her head, trying to force a smile. "It's okay, we can keep playing."

 

Shoto furrowed his brow as he watched her push around a toy car, her expression still somber. He looked around his room, trying to figure out what to do to make her happy again.

 

He noticed a book on his bedside table, the one his sister had given him as a gift that morning. He nodded to himself, determined.

 

He quickly jumped up from his spot beside Veronica on his bedroom floor, surprising her. "Shoto, what are you-"

 

"We can read a story!" He exclaimed, grabbing the book and holding it up to her. "This is the one big sis got me. She said it was really good."

 

He sat down on his bed, smiling triumphantly as he placed the copy of James and the Giant Peach down in his lap. Veronica quickly scrambled up to his bed, taking a seat beside him.

 

"No," Shoto pushed her hand away as she went to take the book from him. "I'll read to you."

 

She nodded as he opened the book to the first chapter and began to read.

 

Before long, the issue with the cake was forgotten, and Veronica was relaxing in Shoto's bed, listening intently as he read her what seemed to be the sad story of Jame's life.

 

"Do rhinos really eat people?" Shoto inquired, confused.

 

"I don't know," Veronica frowned. "Maybe if people make them mad, but I don't think that you normally see rhinos in cities."

 

"That's good then," Shoto nodded.

 

He continued on with the story, until Natsuo stuck his head into Shoto's bedroom about 20 minutes later.

 

“Come to the kitchen you two. Fuyumi has a surprise.”

 

Veronica and Shoto looked at each other, confused. He quickly set the book down, both of them running after Natsuo to the kitchen.

 

They were greeted by the smell of chocolate and vanilla cake, the delicious aroma filling the kitchen. Veronica followed Shoto to the kitchen table, sitting in the chair beside his as Fuyumi placed a cupcake in front of each of them.

 

They smelt the scent of baked chocolate, coupled with the layer of vanilla icing that was starting to melt. The cupcake in front of Shoto had a lit blue candle sticking out of it, his eyes wide as he smiled and watched the flame.

 

Natsuo followed behind his sister, placing a vanilla cake on the table as he called for their brother Touya.

 

“There was enough batter left in the bowl for those cupcakes,” Fuyumi explained, smiling. “I made a cake for everyone else, but those cupcakes are the ones you made, Veronica.”

 

Veronica stared at the cupcakes in awe, happy that at least something had come from her baking efforts.

 

“Thank you, Veronica,” Shoto smiled at her.

 

“Happy Birthday, Sho-sho,” she smiled back, leaning over to kiss him on the cheek. His cheeks flushed slightly, Fuyumi’s awes echoing throughout the kitchen. “Make a wish!”

 

Shoto nodded, closing his eyes and leaning forward to blow out the candle.

 

What did you wish for?

 

Shoto opened his eyes, his grey and turquoise orbs focusing in on Veronica’s blue ones from across the table. She looked as beautiful as ever, her golden blond hair framing her face as she watched him.

 

“The same thing I always wish for,” he smiled. You.

 

“Maybe this year you’ll actually get it then,” she let out a small laugh, shifting in her seat.

 

“Maybe,” he shrugged, still smiling.

 

Veronica picked up her cupcake, slowly pealing off the wrapper before reaching across to tap it against Shoto’s in a form of cheers.

 

“Happy 15th Birthday, Shoto.”

Chapter Text

"Hey, you're the guy who came in second at the sports festival last year, aren't you?" Midoriya gushed as he sat down on the couch beside Veronica, looking over at Touya. Midoriya had quickly come to find her in the club room after classes had ended, eager to discuss her quirk.

 

"Oh, yeah I am," he chuckled lightly, pushing his blue hair out of his eyes. "And I'd have won if it wasn't for her," he glared and stuck his tongue out at Veronica, making her laugh.

 

"Oh, quit being a sore loser Touya," she rolled her eyes at him as he smiled.

 

"That's so cool!" Midoriya smiled. "Do you mind if I ask you some questions about your quirk as well?"

 

"Some other time man," Touya said, grabbing his school bag. "I've already got a student to go and help."

 

"Oh, is that so?" Veronica raised an eyebrow as she leaned back on the couch. "And which poor girl did you harass this time?"

 

"I'll have you know that she approached me first," he huffed, pretending to be offended. "Besides, you know you're the only one in my heart, darling." He winked as Midoriya stared wide-eyed at them.

 

"Sure, buddy. Whatever you say," Veronica waved him away, rolling her eyes once he'd left the room. "What a guy."

 

"So, uh, I, uh... I won't say anything to Todoroki, or whatever," Midoriya fidgeted nervously, looking everywhere but at her.

 

Veronica burst out laughing, causing him to jump in surprise. "Sorry Midoriya, but there's nothing to tell." She patted him on the shoulder, still smiling. "Touya's been pulling that crap since we met as first years. He's a huge flirt, but he doesn't mean any of it."

 

"Oh, okay," he sighed in relief.

 

"So what did you want to ask me about my quirk?"

 

Veronica spent the next little while explaining her quirks to Midoriya. "I have to admit, I was pretty surprised when you jumped at that sludge villain without using a quirk. But after seeing the backlash and damage it causes to your body, I can see why you didn't use it."

 

Midoriya stared at her in surprise. "Wait, you were the one who jumped in to save Kacchan, weren't you?"

 

"Kacchan?" She raised an eyebrow.

 

"Oh, sorry," he smiled weakly. " That's just my nickname for Katsuki. We've known each other since we were kids."

 

"Oh," Veronica smiled. "So kind of like how I call Shoto Sho-Sho sometimes," she giggled. "That's the name I gave him when we were kids."

 

"Yeah, kind of like that," he laughed. "Wait, I thought you said you couldn't bring anything living with you into the Void?" He asked, confused. "How did you save Kacchan then?"

 

"Well, to be honest, I don't really know," she sighed. "Anytime I'd tried before, whatever living creature came with me would die instantly when I brought it to the Void. But with Bakugo, I wasn't really controlling my actions. Just seeing him trapped there... I acted instinctually."

 

Midoriya nodded in understanding. "So then, maybe there's something you're missing? Maybe there's more to your quirk that you don't know about."

 

"Anything's possible," Veronica shrugged. "There's not really much known about my quirk. As far as I know, I'm the only person who's ever possessed one like it. They figure that my dad had some kind of teleportation quirk and that it's a mutation of that."

 

"That would make the most sense..." Midoriya trailed off, thinking. Veronica's phone pinged, surprising her. She glanced at it, noticing a text from Shoto. She grabbed her phone, scanning the text, frowning. "Is something wrong?" Midoriya asked, concern filling his voice.

 

"No," she shook her head. "Shoto just ended up having to go home to train, so he wanted to let me know that he wouldn't be able to walk me home."

 

Perfect! Katsuki grinned as he waltzed into the club room, catching the tail end of their conversation. Midoriya jumped in fear at his appearance, quickly gathering his things.

 

"Bakugo?" Veronica frowned as he walked towards them. "What ar-"

 

"Sorry Unmei, I have to go!" Midoriya half yelled as he ran out of the club room. What the hell? What's gotten into him?

 

Veronica stood up quickly, gathering her own things. "I don't have time to talk to you right now, Bakugo," she told him coldly as he stopped in front of the coffee table.

 

"And why the hell not?" He demanded, crossing his arms. "You don't have to go and meet that half and half bastard, and you had time to talk to Deku, so why not me?"

 

"Excuse me?" She glared at him. Half and half bastard? Is he talking about Shoto? "I can talk to or refuse to talk to whoever the hell I want."

 

"And why the hell wouldn't you want to talk to me?" He growled, making his way around the coffee table. "Or did you forget how nice our conversation was last time?"

 

Veronica quickly walked in the other direction, using the table as a barrier between them. "Our last conversation is exactly the reason why I don't want to talk to you, asshole."

 

Katsuki clenched his jaw, crimson eyes flaring. "Is that so?" A wicked grin slowly spread across his face as he saw her countering his advances. Looks like I'll have to make her come to me. "Are you saying that you're afraid you'll end up doing something that you'll enjoy too much?"

 

"You bastard!" She spat at him. "You know very well that's not what I'm saying!"

 

"Oh?" He feigned innocence. "How should I know? I was pretty sure you looked like you wanted me to kiss you last time."

 

Veronica's cheeks flushed red, her fists clenching in anger. How the hell can he make me so embarrassed and so fucking pissed at the same time?! "Fuck off! I want absolutely nothing to do with you Katsuki Bakugo! Leave me the hell alone, or you'll regret it!"

 

"Ha, I'd like to see what you think you could do to me!" He mocked.

 

"YOU ARROGANT BASTARD!" Veronica launched herself across the table at Katsuki, knocking him into the couch and catching him by surprise. The couch fell backward, both of them dropping to the floor with a thud. She crawled on top of him, punching him across his jaw.

 

"OW, WHAT THE FUCK! YOU'LL PAY FOR THAT!" Katsuki grabbed Veronica's hand as she threw another punch at him, anger controlling her movements as she tried to fight him. She gasped in surprise as she was suddenly beneath him, both of her wrists held down above her head in one of his hands. She kicked, trying to free herself as he moved to straddle her hips, holding her in place. "Are you done yet?" He growled as she squirmed under him, trying to get away.

 

"Fuck off!" Veronica hissed back, trying to kick him off of her, making him lock her legs down with his. "Get off of me!"

 

Katsuki rubbed his jaw with his free hand, ignoring her. "Damn, you got me good," he turned his head to spit a bit of blood out of his mouth, a dark bruise quickly forming. "You hit me harder than I thought you could," he praised.

 

"Well, I didn't win the sports festival because of my good looks," she sneered back, trying to formulate a plan of escape.

 

He chuckled lowly, the slightly gravelly sound vibrating through her body, making her gasp. God damn it! Not now! He stared down at her, his crimson eyes sparkling with approval, his mouth forming a crooked grin as his ashen blond hair fell into his face. Veronica tried to twist from his grasp once more, her heart rate accelerating. Katsuki groaned at her movement, his grip on her wrists tightening.

 

"Keep it up, and we're going to have an even bigger problem babe," he growled, leaning down to look Veronica in the eyes. God, she looks so fucking hot right now. She better watch it, or I won't be able to control myself.

 

Her breath hitched, trying not to think about what he was implying as the scent of smoke and cinnamon filled her nostrils. Her body screamed in approval at the feeling of his body pressing down against hers, making Veronica even more pissed. "Fine, you have me, now what did you want to talk about?"

Chapter Text

"Be my girlfriend," Katsuki demanded.

 

"No," Veronica deadpanned. "Not in a million years."

 

He chuckled at her response, the sound low and hearty. I'd love to kiss her into submission, but I won't be able to keep her that way. "Why not? There's obviously something between us."

 

"There's nothing between us except anger and teenage hormones," she scoffed. He's got to be kidding me. Even if he does feel kind of good on top of me... "You know nothing about me, and I know nothing about you, so let's keep it that way."

 

"Tch, are you really that against the idea of being with me?" Veronica glared up at him. "Fine," he shrugged, letting go of her wrists and moving off of her. "We'll see what your boyfriend has to say when I tell him about your abusive guardian."

 

FUCK! "What do you want, Bakugo?" Veronica ground out as she slowly sat up.

 

"Well, since you're so against dating someone you apparently don't know, why don't we become friends?" Katsuki smirked at her before standing up and dusting off his clothes. She can't get away now.

 

"You're kidding me, right? You want us to be friends?" She looked up at him suspiciously. What the hell is this guy up to?

 

"Why not?" He crouched down in from of her, that cocky grin still present. "You scared you're going to fall for me?"

 

"Pfft, as if!" Veronica didn't even attempt to hide her laughter. "I have Shoto, remember? And he's a perfect boyfriend, so why would I ever need you."

 

"You say that now, but we'll see how things turn out in the end," he stood, reaching his hand out to her. She narrowed her eyes at the gesture, making Katsuki roll his eyes at her. "We're friends now, remember? I'm just trying to help you up."

 

"Fine, whatever," she huffed, grabbing his hand and allowing him to pull her up. Once she was on her feet, she took a couple of steps back, distancing herself from him. So much for avoiding him forever.

 

Katsuki bent down, grabbing the top of the couch and flipping it back up to its original position. "So, my new friend, why don't you give me your phone number?"

 

Veronica sighed in defeat, too tired to argue anymore. She grabbed her phone from her bag, tossing it to him so that he could put his number in and text himself. "Just don't bother me all the time, please. And don't you dare tell Shoto about that other stuff."

 

"Of course not," he smiled, his features softening as he handed her back her phone. Damn, if he looked like that all the time then maybe... NO! Veronica shook away the thought.

 

"I'm going home now," she huffed, grabbing her stuff and walking towards the door. "And Bakugo," she glanced back over her shoulder at him. "Don't ever try to touch me like that again."

 

Katsuki shook his head. Her body had felt amazing beneath his, and he wasn't going to forget that feeling anytime soon. "The name's Katsuki, babe. Forget it again, and I won't be so nice."

 

Veronica threw her hands up in frustration and stormed out of the room. There's absolutely no reasoning with him!

 

Katsuki smiled to himself, watching her as she walked away. Watch out you half and half bastard. I'll make sure that she sees how much happier she could be with me. She'll fall for me and be my stupid girl instead of yours. You don't deserve someone like her if you can't protect her.

 


Veronica flopped down on her bed, groaning in frustration. Who the hell does that bastard think he is?! Assuming he can blackmail me into being his friend... what an asshole! She rolled over onto her stomach, sighing as she grabbed her phone. I wonder...

 

She scrolled through her contacts, choking on air when she saw the newest addition. Are you fucking kidding me?! 'MY LORD KATSUKI'?! WHAT AN ARROGANT... GAH! Veronica grabbed her pillow and screamed into it, letting out her anger. No way in hell I'm leaving it like that! She picked up her phone and quickly deleted the name he'd entered for himself, replacing it with her own. There! 'Explosive Asshole' has a much better ring to it. She giggled to herself, unexpectedly happy.

 

Veronica sat up quickly, shaking her head. What the hell? What am I so happy about? It can't be because of that stupid asshat... Her phone rang, making her jump. She answered it immediately, pleased by the distraction.

 

"Hello?"

 

"Wow, I didn't expect you to pick up right away," a low chuckle vibrated through the phone. Shit! I didn't look at who was calling. "So, how do you like my name babe?"

 

An evil grin spread across her face. "I think it's great, Explosive Asshole."

 

"OI! WHA-"

 

Veronica quickly hung up, falling back onto her bed in a fit of laughter. Take that! Her phone rang again, his new name flashing on her phone screen, making her laugh even harder as she hit ignore. You may have forced me to be friends with you, but I didn't say I was going to make it easy. Her laughter died down as she got up to go and grab some food. This may actually end up being more fun than I thought...

 


Katsuki glared at his phone as his call was ignored. Stupid girl! He threw his phone in anger. Why does she have to be so fucking difficult?! He sat down at his desk with a thud, switching on his computer. Fine, if she's going to be that way, then I definitely won't go easy on her.

 


"None of this is helpful!" Katsuki glared at the computer screen. "All of these look like things that half and half bastard probably already does for her." He scrolled through more of his search results, looking for anything and everything that could help him make that stupid girl fall for him. Call her? Tried that. Send her flowers? Too lame. Wait what's...

 

"Music makes the heart grow fonder?" Katsuki scanned the article quickly. "Girls go crazy over a guy who can sing? Bad boy rockstar?" He smiled to himself. I could definitely pull off a bad boy routine. Way better than that half and half bastard. Don't know how to fucking sing though... He frowned, continuing his search until something really caught his eye.

 

Have incredible sex... The image of Veronica struggling beneath him earlier flashed through his mind, making him groan in frustration. She's not gonna let that happen until she falls for me, especially not with him around. Katsuki clenched his jaw in determination before typing 'How to steal someone's girlfriend' into the search bar.

Chapter Text

Veronica tried to scream as someone covered her mouth and pulled her back into an alcove out of the rain. Why she was running down a dark alley in the middle of the night in such terrible weather wasn't clear. Panic seeped into her body as confusion filled her brain. Who was I running away from again? What the hell is going on?!

"Shhh, it's just me," someone whispered lowly as she was pushed back against a wall, her body shielded from the alley by theirs. "They won't find you here."

"Who-" Veronica looked up and gasped in surprise. "Katsuki?"

He was looking away from her, scanning the surrounding area, his ashen blond hair plastered to his face, clothes soaked from the rain. Veronica gulped at the sight of his muscles through his ripped t-shirt, glistening in the moonlight. Has he... always looked this good? She couldn't help but stare at his sharp jawline, following the raindrops running down the curve of his neck to his broad chest and shoulders.

"Are you okay?" Katsuki looked down at Veronica, crimson eyes filled with concern, his gravelly voice soft. "They didn't hurt you did they?" She shook her head, confused by his sudden change is behavior. "Oh thank god," he sighed in relief, leaning his head down to press his forehead against hers. "I don't know what I would have done if you'd been hurt."

Her heart skipped a beat, his warm breath fanning her face, the heat from his body radiating around her. The pleasant smell of smoke and cinnamon surrounded Veronica, and she naturally relaxed into his body as he wrapped his arms around her. Her eyes couldn't help but wander down to his slightly pink lips, causing her to bite her own bottom one as she wondered how soft they would feel.

"Veronica," Katsuki whispered sweetly, his crimson eyes filled with need as he leaned down to kiss her. It started off gentle, tentatively, as he lightly pressed his lips to hers. His lips moved against hers, deepening the kiss as he brought one hand up to cup her cheek, her arms snaking around his neck. Veronica moaned into the kiss as Katsuki pressed her back against the wall, the hard lines of his body feeling like heaven against hers.

Oh my god, this feels-

Her alarm clock blared, surprising Veronica awake, making her fall off of her bed. She groaned in pain and frustration as she reached up to turn off her alarm, remaining on the floor. The cold feeling of the hardwood felt nice against her flushed skin. God damn it Katsuki...

WAIT?! Veronica sat up abruptly, almost hitting her nightstand. What the actual fuck?! Why the hell was I dreaming about him?! Why not Shoto? She sat there in confusion, thinking it over. I don't like Katsuki, so why would I dream about him like that? Her brain brought up the images of yesterday's events, how he'd pinned her to the floor, and how he'd done something similar before. But in my dream, he sounded more like Shoto than himself... Veronica shook her head. She couldn't begin to imagine Shoto being forceful like that. So maybe... maybe I want Shoto to act like that? Or maybe I want Katsuki...

She slowly stood up, sighing in frustration. There's no use worrying about it now. It's not like Katsuki would ever act like that anyways. Veronica rolled her eyes. Hell would freeze over before its head demon ever acted all sweet and protective like that.


"Hey Sho-sho," Veronica smiled as she answered her front door. "You can come in for a sec, I've just got to go and grab my school bag."

"Alright," Shoto gave her a weak smile before stepping into Veronica's home behind her. She eyed him anxiously. He looked exhausted and upset, probably still from his training with his father the night before.

She gave him a quick hug, surprising him. "I'm here if you ever need me, okay?" Veronica smiled reassuringly at Shoto as he wrapped his arms around her.

"I know," he nodded slowly, giving her a tight squeeze before releasing her.

She quickly ran to her room to grab her school bag, doing a last minute once over of herself in the mirror. Veronica straightened out her black school blazer and grabbed her mint and vanilla scented chapstick, shoving it into her bag. This afternoon was going to be a busy one at school. She was going to be helping out with class 1-A's rescue training instead of going to her own classes.

Veronica rushed back to her front door, smiling brightly as Shoto handed her her morning cappuccino. "You're a sweetheart, you know?"

He smiled a little bigger, the stress from the previous night finally starting to fade away. "I know," he took her free hand in his, intertwining his fingers with hers as he led her out of the front door.


"OI, Shitty hair!" Katsuki yelled at the redhead as he walked through the front gate.

Kirishima and Kaminari both turned in surprise, looking towards the explosive blonde as he approached them. "Hey, dude, what's up?" Kirishima smiled, putting his sharp teeth on full display.

"Do you know anything about getting girls?" Katsuki demanded as he stood in front of them, arms crossed as he waited for an answer.

"Well I'd like to think I do," Kirishima rubbed the back of his neck, pursing his lips. "Why man? What girl are you trying to get?"

"That's none of your fucking business," Katsuki growled.

"Geez dude, okay, sorry I asked," Kirishima held up his hand slightly, preparing to ward off an attack. "Most girls like when you do all kinds of nice things for them, like giving them flowers and chocolates and stuff."

"They also like guys who can make them laugh," Kaminari piped in. "Try using a cool pickup line on her."

Katsuki glared at the electric blond. "A pickup line? She won't like that."

"Well you're off to a good start then," Kirishima smiled wide. "If you already know what she won't like then you just have to figure out what she would like."

Katsuki raised his hands, small explosions going off. "I already knew that shitty hair!"

"Maybe you should ask one of her friends then?" Kaminari offered, trying to save Kirishima from the explosive blond. "Find out what kind of things she likes to do and go and do them with her. Girls like it when you talk to them and pay attention."

Katsuki thought for a second before he stormed off towards the school. "You two didn't help at all!" He yelled back at them. Who is she friends with anyway? The image of Veronica sitting and talking with Deku yesterday filled his mind. Other than that shitty nerd! I don't want him knowing anything about her!

Kaminari and Kirishima stared at Katsuki as he stomped away, completely lost for words. "Who do you think's gotten him so riled up?" Kaminari looked to his friend.

"Whoever she is, she's got to be pretty special to grab his attention, especially if he's trying to be nice to her." Kirishima shook his head. "I just hope she can see past his temper."

Chapter Text

"Hey bro!" Kirishima exclaimed as he sat down beside Katsuki at a table in the cafeteria. Kaminari, Sero and Ashido quickly followed suit, making Katsuki scowl as he was suddenly surrounded by his classmates.

"What the hell do you extras want?" Katsuki growled, dumping hot sauce onto his lunch.

"We wanted to know how the loverboy was doing," Kaminari smiled, flipping his golden blond hair out of his face.

"Loverboy?" Ashido questioned, raising an eyebrow as Katsuki frowned.

"It's none of your fucking business!" He raised his hand, mini explosions going off.

"Awe, come on man!" Kirishima smiled. "No need to be embarrassed about it. You were bound to like someone someday."

"WHO SAYS I'M EMBARRASSED?!" He screamed, blushing slightly as Ashido and Sero burst out laughing.

"So who's the lucky girl?" Ashido gushed, her pink hair bouncing around in her excitement. "Is she someone we know? Does she go to our school?"

"She's no one," Katsuki grumbled, glancing towards Veronica. She was a few tables away, laughing and smiling as she sat beside Shoto, sharing food with him. Midoriya, Uraraka, and Iida sat across from her, chatting happily with each other as they ate. God damn half and half bastard. Katsuki quickly returned his attention to his own food, trying to block out the sound of Veronica's musical laughter.

Kirishima followed his gaze, his eyes widening as he realized just who Katsuki was looking at. He looked back to Katsuki, who looked even more pissed than he was before. "Bro, please don't tell me you like who I think you do."

"WHO?!" The other three chimed in unison, looking towards Kirishima.

"One word shitty hair and I'll kill you," Katsuki's voice was low and menacing, his crimson eyes narrowing in on the spiky red head.

"No worries bro," Kirishima said quickly, holding up his hands in surrender. "I'll keep my mouth shut."

Katsuki relaxed in his seat slightly, continuing to eat his meal. "Awe, no fair!" Ashido cried. "We want to know too!"

The rest of lunchtime consisted of them pestering Kirishima for the answer, too afraid to bother Katsuki about it anymore.


Veronica smiled at Uraraka as they discussed local cafes that sold the best desserts. "There's this one close to where I live that sells the most delicious little cakes!" Uraraka smiled brightly.

"I'll definitely have to check it out sometime then. Thanks for telling me about it Uraraka," Veronica mentally added the spot to her list of places to try.

"Oh, you can call me Ochaco," she laughed slightly. "And I'd love to go and hang out with you some time."

"That would be awesome!" Veronica smiled brightly at her, pulling out her phone. "You can call me Veronica, and could I get your number then? I'd love to be friends with you."

"Okay!" Uraraka swapped phones with Veronica as Midoriya watched curiously.

"Why don't we all exchange numbers? That way we can contact each other easily if needed." Iida stopped eating to pull out his own phone, passing it to Shoto, who nodded in agreement.

"That's an excellent idea, Iida," Midoriya smiled, passing his phone along too. They continued to chat along happily until the end of lunch, making plans to try and meet up on the weekend for coffee.


"Hey, Bakugo!" Kirishima ran after the ashen blonde as he left the cafeteria a bit before the end of lunch.

"What do you want shitty hair?" Katsuki scowled at him.

"I wanted to talk to you about Unmei," Kirishima huffed as he caught up to him. "You know she's dating Todoroki, right?"

" 'Course I know that," he snarled at him. "What's your point?"

"Dude, chill, I'm just trying to help," Kirishima sighed. "I just don't know how you think you're going to get her when she's with him."

Katsuki hit the wall beside him with an explosion. "Don't you think I know that? Why else would I be asking for ways to make her like me?" Fucking bastard! How the hell did he get to her first?!

"It's not going to be easy bro," Kirishima frowned. "They're childhood friends."

"WHAT?!" Katsuki boomed. Are you fucking kidding me?! How the fuck am I supposed to compete with that?! He'll know everything about her. He started swearing profusely, storming off in the direction of class as Kirishima trailed along behind him.

How the hell- Katsuki froze, causing Kirishima to run into his back. "Bro! Don't just stop all of a sudden!"

Katsuki ignored him. If they've been friends since childhood, why doesn't the bastard know about the abuse? A slow smile spread across his face. If he doesn't know something as big as that... what else has she been hiding from him? Does he really know as much about her as he thinks?


Veronica smiled as class 1-A gathered outside of the school. Most of them were sporting their hero costumes, and she was excited to finally get to work with them up close. There'll be a lot of training today. I hope that I can be helpful to even just a few of them.

"Whoa, Veronica, I like your costume!" Ochaco exclaimed as she approached her.

Veronica was wearing a bright red crop top with long, off the shoulder sleeves, something that was simple and a bit flashy but easy to fight in. Most of her golden blond hair was tied back into a high ponytail, held firmly in place by a small red scarf that matched her shirt. She wore tight black fitted pants and a pair of knee high black boots that prevented her from making any noise as she walked. She had a golden sort of utility belt with a couple of pouches that contained throwing knives, with multiple daggers looped into the back for close combat. She carried a small metal cylinder on her hip that extended into a fighting bo, as well as numerous mini syringes filled with a tranquilizer on the front of her belt. These were for when she needed to quickly take down a villain without risking any damage. Her boots also hid a couple of knives for emergencies, and she usually wore a flashy black and gold, almost feathered mask, but opted not to wear it today.

"Thanks, Ochaco," Veronica smiled at her. "I like your costume too. It looks like it goes really well with your quirk."

Shoto approached them, smiling as he took in Veronica's appearance. It was his first time seeing her hero costume. He didn't really like how much skin it showed off to everyone, but he could definitely appreciate the way she looked in it.

Katsuki glared from afar as Shoto went to stand beside Veronica, cursing under his breath as he looked at her. Does she have to show off that much skin? He groaned as he rubbed his hand across his face, trying not to think about the exposed curve of her hips, or how soft her skin looked. Her chest heaved as she laughed at something Ochaco said, making him suck in a shaky breath. He almost choked when Veronica turned around to talk to Iida, her tight black pants hugging the firm curve of her round ass, his vision starting to get hazy. FUCK!

Katsuki quickly turned around to avoid looking at her, trying to get his thoughts under control. How the fuck am I supposed to focus on training when she's dressed like that?! He took in a few deep breaths, trying to calm himself as Iida blew a whistle, shouting instructions at everyone to board the bus.

Chapter Text

"Mr. Aizawa," Iida raised his hand, chopping it up and down frantically as everyone boarded the bus. "It appears that we are short a seat."

"No we're not," Mr. Aizawa grumbled, looking towards Veronica.

"I'll be traveling in the Void for our trip," she smiled at Iida's concern. "It's more comfortable for me that way."

"But won't that use up too much of your energy?" Ochaco asked as she took her seat beside Yaoyorozu, slightly worried.

Veronica shook her head. "My quirk only uses up my energy as I'm merging into and out of the Void. It doesn't use any while I'm just floating around in there."

"I'm going to sleep then," Shoto whispered as he passed by Veronica to get to his seat.

Once she'd merged into the Void and the bus had taken off, Veronica pulled her phone out of her pocket, putting in an earbud. She hit shuffle and gently pushed off of the bus floor, allowing herself to lay back and smoothly float along with the bus. She half listened as the first years chatted around her, glancing to the back to see Shoto's sleeping face.

Awe, so cute! Veronica floated over to his spot, hanging in the air above him as she studied his face. Shoto looked utterly relaxed and at peace as he leaned against the side of the bus, his head against the window. His hair hung in his face, his chest rising and falling evenly. I wonder what he's dreaming about...

Her attention was drawn back to the center of the bus as Asui mentioned how she thought Midoriya's quirk was similar to All Mights. His response was frantic and nervous, piquing Veronica's interest even more. What's he so worried about? Shouldn't that be like a compliment? Her attention was drawn to Kirishima as he started talking about pro looking quirks.

"Well if any of our classmates have pro quirks, it's Todoroki and Bakugo," the redhead pointed out. Veronica looked to see Katsuki's surprised expression at the mention of his name. He quickly huffed and went back to looking out the window, pretending not to be listening to their conversation.

"Sure," Asui started. "But Bakugo's always angry, so he'll never be that popular."

Veronica burst into a fit of laughter as Katsuki quickly stood up, yelling at them. "What'd you say? I'll kick your ass!"

"Ya see?" Asui pointed to the explosive blond as he proved her point.

"Y'know, we basically just met you," Kaminari shrugged. "So it's kinda telling that we all know your personality is flaming crap mixed with garbage." Veronica rolled around in the air, tears forming in her eyes as she held her stomach, dying of laughter. HA! Take that you explosive asshole!

Katsuki leaned towards Kaminari, his hands gripping the railing in front of his seat in anger. "You're gonna regret the day you applied to this school, YOU LOOSER..." he yelled.

Veronica tuned out the rest of their fighting, trying to calm down her own laughter. This is awesome! I need to join this class more often! Mr. Aizawa soon stopped their argument, informing everyone that they'd finally arrived. Veronica quickly returned to the bus floor, merging back into reality as she covered her mouth, still fighting off laughter.

She glanced back to make sure Shoto had been woken up, stepping aside to let Katsuki stomp past. Veronica smiled as Shoto stretched, leaving his seat and coming to walk with her off of the bus.

"You missed quite the commotion," she giggled.

"I heard a little of it," he shot her a small smile as they came to stand in front of a giant dome covered building. The Unforeseen Simulation Joint, a place created by the heroes for rescue training.

They were greeted by Thirteen as they entered the building, the first years excited to meet the famous pro hero. "Hello, everyone, I've been waiting for you!" Thirteen started pointing out different simulated disaster areas around the dome, then informed the students that All Might wouldn't be joining until later.

"The clocks ticking. We should get started," Aizawa grumbled as Veronica left Shoto to go and stand beside the teachers. She was here as an assistant after all, not a student.

"Excellent!" Thirteen started to explain the benefits and dangers of quirks, going on to talk about the type of rescue training they'd be doing today. She took a bow as she finished her short speech, the students clapping and cheering. Veronica smiled at their obvious enthusiasm, eager to get started.

"Right, now that that's over-" Mr. Aizawa was interrupted as the lighting in the building malfunctioned, everyone's attention being drawn to the center of the USJ as a swirling black and purple vortex formed.

Veronica swore under her breath as villains started to appear, their numbers quickly multiplying. Shit! This is not good! The students gasped in surprise, confused at their sudden appearance.

"Stay together and don't move!" Mr. Aizawa shouted to everyone, tensing for a fight. "Thirteen! Oracle! Protect the students!" Veronica nodded as he used her chosen hero name, informing her that she was being treated as a sidekick in this situation.

"Is this part of the training?" Kirishima took a step forward, unsure.

"STAY BACK!" Mr. Aizawa yelled. "This is real, those are villains!"

The class gasped in surprise, fear slowing seeping through the group as Veronica grabbed the metal cylinder from her hip. She whipped it open, the metal extending into her fighting bo. She faced the growing group of villains, jumping into a fighting stance.

"The only real heroes I see are Thirteen and Eraser Head. Perplexing..." the dark vortex swirled to form a tall humanoid being, looking to the villain beside him. "According to the schedule we retrieved from UA, All Might should be here as well."

"So, you scumbags used the press as cover and snuck onto campus," Aizawa watched, preparing for battle. So they were the ones who let the press in yesterday! They must have used the confusion and reporters as a cover to sneak into the school.

"Where is he?" The other villain scratched at his neck, multiple disembodied hands covering his body. "I went through the trouble of bringing so many friends who're eager to meet him. They want All Might. The great Symbol of Peace. I can't believe he's not here," he grumbled, clearly annoyed. So they want All Might then... "Maybe if I kill a few kids, he'll come out to play."

Veronica's grip tightened on her bo as she prepared herself to use her Second Sight during battle. It was a technique she frequently used, alternating between using her quirk for a few seconds and attacking. This allowed her to not overexert herself while easily being able to predict her opponents moves. Many claimed her quirk allowed her to see into the future, deterring people who recognized Veronica from attacking.

"What? Real villains?" Kirishima gasped. "No way. How could so many of them get into a UA facility this secure?"

"Yeah, Thirteen," Yaoyorozu questioned, confused. "Why aren't the alarms going off?"

"Good question," Thirteen replied, thinking. "I'm not sure." They must be jamming the alarms somehow.

"Is the entire campus under attack? Or is this their only target?" Veronica's attention was drawn to Shoto as he spoke, calmly working through his own thoughts. "Either way, if the alarm sensors aren't being triggered, then one of these villains must have a quirk that's masking their presence here. They carefully chose this isolated facility as an entry point at a time when a class was being taught. They're fools for trespassing here, but they've thought this out." Veronica nodded in agreement, proud that he was able to remain so calm and well thought even during the dire situation. "Whatever their plan, they must have a concrete objective in mind. But what is it?"

The other students gasped at his explanation, panic and uncertainty coming over them. We have to get them out of here, now!

"Thirteen, Oracle, get them outta here and alert the main campus," Mr. Aizawa paused. "Actually, if they can block our sensors, then they might be jamming our regular communications too." He looked to Kaminari. "Kaminari, try using your quirk to contact the school."

"Yes sir," he raised his hand to a device attached to his ear, trying to get through.

"What're you gonna do?" Midoriya worried as Mr. Aizawa turned back towards the villains, taking a step forward. "You can't fight them on your own! There's too many of 'em. Even if you can nullify their quirks, your fighting style's not suited for this. Your power works best in stealth and one-on-one fights. That's not gonna help with a group."

Veronica shook her head, smiling slightly. Many would say the same for her quirks, but Aizawa had trained her well, and she knew better than to doubt his abilities. "You can't be a pro if you only have one trick," he glanced backed to Midoriya, surprising him. "I'll leave it to you two then."

Thirteen and Veronica nod in understanding as he leapt forward, starting to attack the villains as they approached, taking some of them down successfully. Thirteen began to lead the class to the exit as quickly as possible as Aizawa held off the villains. Veronica stayed back to follow and protect from the rear.

Midoriya paused, watching Eraser Head in awe. "Whoa, he's holding them off. I guess I shouldn't have underestimated him."

Iida stopped, turning to his friend. "This is no time to be analyzing," he shouted at him. "We have to go!"

"Let's get moving then!" Veronica shouted, pushing them forwards as she used her second sight to keep an eye on the battle behind them, making sure no one was following. She swore under her breath as she noticed the swirling vortex starting to appear in front of the exit, blocking everyone's path of escape.

"There is no escape for you," he once again morphed back into a looming figure, everyone stopping in their tracks. "It's a pleasure to meet you. We are the League of Villains," he introduced himself and his comrades, clearly at ease. Veronica clenched her jaw as he continued, making sure to keep an eye on everything using her quirk. "I know it's impolite, but we decided to invite ourselves into this haven of justice to say hello. And besides, isn't this a fitting place for All Might, the Symbol of Peace, to take his last breath? I believe he was supposed to be here today, and yet I see no sign of him. There must have been some sort of change in plans we could not have foreseen."

Good! If they're here already thinking All Might is here, they obviously have some sort of plan to take him down and are relatively confident about it. Who knows what they would have done if he was here...

"Ah, well, in the end, I supposed it doesn't matter. I still have a role to play."

Veronica braced herself as Thirteen raised her hand, preparing to use her quirk. Fuck! Veronica swore as she picked up Katsuki and Kirishima's movements with her second sight, their intent obvious. Fucking idiots! She rushed through the group to Thirteen as the guys unleashed their quirks on the villain, smoke and explosions filling the air. No way that worked! He's got a teleportation type quirk.

"Did ya think we were just gonna stand around and let you tear this place to shreds?" Kirishima yelled as the smoke began to clear, him and Katsuki clearly happy with their surprise attack.

"You live up to your school's reputation," the villain emerged from the smoke, completely unharmed. The students gasped in surprise. "But you should be more careful, children. Otherwise, someone might get hurt."

"You two, get out of the way, right now!" Thirteen yelled at them.

"I'll scatter you across this facility to meet my comrades and your deaths!" Veronica leapt towards Katsuki and Kirishima as the villain surrounded everyone with a swirling vortex.

"Crap. What is this?!" Kirishima shouted as Veronica grabbed onto the two of them, the vortex enveloping them. Her quirk had given her a chance to react quickly. Grunts and screams were heard from the other students as they were separated and pulled through the vortex.

Chapter Text

Wind whipped past Veronica's body at high speeds, the warp gate having dropped them out high above the structures of the USJ. Relief filled her as she realized she still had a hold on Katsuki and Kirishima, the three of them free falling to the ground. Her instincts took over, all of them merging into the Void, draining almost all of her energy instantly.

Katsuki set off an explosion with his one hand, slowing their fall until they were all drifting down at a leisurely pace. Veronica lost her hold on the guys, and Katsuki grabbed onto her as she fell forward, barely conscious.

"What the hell is going on?" Kirishima looked around, confused by the slow speed that they were now descending at.

"We're in the Void, idiot," Katsuki snapped, grabbing Veronica by her shoulders and shaking her. "Veronica!" She slumped into him, unresponsive, his words sounding far away. "God damn it! Veronica, answer me!" He shook her again as Kirishima watched, uncertain.

"Kat...su...ki?" Veronica mumbled, his face blurry as she tried to look up at him.

"FUCK!" Katsuki grabbed her face, forcing her to look at him. "Is it taking your energy to keep us here?"

"Wha..."

"GOD DAMN IT, WOMAN! ARE YOU USING YOUR QUIRK RIGHT NOW?!" He screamed, desperation seeping into his voice. He searched her face, her confusion evident as she fought to stay conscious.

Veronica stayed silent for a few seconds, trying to feel her own body and energy levels. "No..." she managed to whisper, her eyes closing in exhaustion.

"Thank god," Katsuki pulled her to his body, cradling her in his arms.

"Is she going to be okay?" Kirishima floated closer, worry evident on his face.

"She'll be fine," Katsuki sighed in relief. "She's not using her quirk to keep us here, so she's not using any more energy. She's just drained from bringing us into the Void with her."

"How do you know that?" Kirishima questioned as they slowly drifted down to the rooftop of a building.

" 'Cause I've been here before. She's the one that pulled me out of that sludge villain a year ago," Katsuki explained as they touched down. He pulled Veronica up into his arms bridal style, leaning her head against his shoulder and wrapping her one arm around his neck. "I'd have made it out myself if it wasn't for her."

"Liar..." Veronica grumbled, eyes still closed. "Your arrogant ass would be dead if it weren't for me."

Kirishima chuckled, and Katsuki glared at him. "Go to sleep," he growled at her. "You need to get your energy back so that you can bring us out of the Void." Veronica hummed in agreement before passing out in his arms.

"So, now what?" Kirishima looked around, assessing their surroundings. It looked like they were the only ones brought to this area. "How does this void thing work?"

"How the hell am I supposed to know?" Katsuki barked at him. "I've only been here for a few seconds before, and it's not exactly my quirk."

"Bro, chill, I was just asking," Kirishima ran his hand through his spiky red hair, thinking. "I guess our best bet is to make our way back to the main area. I'm just not sure how we're going to fight off villains if we have to carry her."

"Shut up you idiot," Katsuki huffed. "If you haven't realized, we aren't on the same plain as the villains. I'm pretty sure her quirk transports us to a place alongside reality."

"Which means what exactly?" Kirishima glanced over the edge of the roof, trying to sort out an escape route.

"Means we won't have to fight anyone," Katsuki shifted Veronica in his arms, confused by the lack of gravity. "We'll be able to see and hear everything, but that's about it. They can't see, hear, or even touch us."

"Oh wow, that's awesome!" Kirishima grinned, pumping his fist into the air.

"Whatever," Katsuki started off towards the door on the roof, sidestepping parts of the ground that were crumbling away. "Keep up shitty hair, I'm not going to wait around all day for you."

"No problem dude," he nodded, quickly following.

Katsuki stopped when he came to the door, stepping aside to let Kirishima open it. The redhead grabbed onto the handle, confused when it refused to turn. "Looks like we'll have to break through." He used his quirk to harden his arm, slashing at the door as he leaned forward. Surprised, he fell through the door itself, then turned and stuck his head back through the metal. "I guess we can just walk through stuff too, with a little more effort at least."

Katsuki rolled his eyes at his classmate, walking through the door easily. They made their way down to the ground floor of the crumbling building, moving through debris that blocked their path and floating over holes in the floor.

"Hey, I think I'm getting the hang of this!" Kirishima laughed as he swam through the air past a villain. "This is so freaking cool!"

Katsuki ignored him as they continued on, making their way past various villains who searched for them in confusion. He wanted to be able to blast his way out and take them down, but he knew that as long as they were in the Void, there was nothing he could do. "Bastards! Who the hell do they think they are, breaking into the USJ," he huffed.

"I don't know bro," Kirishima shrugged as they exited the building and started making their way down the street. "I just hope that everyone else is making out okay..."


Shoto froze some more villains, continuing to make his way out of the landslide zone. "Where the hell did they send her?" He'd tried looking for Veronica immediately after landing, quickly realizing that she'd been transported somewhere else. She's probably with Kirishima and Bakugo. He'd seen her grab onto them before they disappeared into the vortex. Hopefully, they're working well with her. I'll kill them if she gets hurt because of their stupidity. She could have ended up with me if she didn't have to try to protect them in the first place. Idiots.

Chapter Text

"Do you think the others are okay?" Kirishima voiced his concerns as they approached the edge of the collapse zone.

Katsuki nodded as he glanced down at Veronica's sleeping face. She hadn't stirred once since passing out in his arms, and he was beginning to worry. What if she needs medical attention and we're stuck here? "Judging by the villains we passed, they aren't very strong or organized. Our classmates should be able to handle them fine. We should worry about heading to the exit and helping fight off the main guys."

Whoa, did Bakugo just compliment everyone? "Okay. Do you think she'll be able to take us out of the Void?" He scratched his head, coming to a stop as the center of the USJ came into view.

"I'm not sure," Katsuki stopped as well, trying to asses the situation ahead of them. His eyes narrowed in on the battle far ahead, concern spreading through him at Aizawa's beaten form.

"That's not good..." Kirishima panicked. "We need to wake her up, now."

Katsuki nodded. They both jumped as a loud crash sounded, All Might's words of reassurance spreading throughout the building. "Good. He can buy us some time to wake up Veronica. Then we can go and help."

"Sounds good man," Kirishima smiled, relieved that All Might had appeared.

Katsuki looked down to the blonde's form once more. "Veronica," he gently called, surprising Kirishima as he watched. "It's time to wake up now."

Veronica turned her face into his neck, nuzzling into the heavy scent of smoke and cinnamon. "It's not time to wake up, Sho-sho," she grumbled, eyes still closed.

"OI! Do I look like your bastard half-n-half boyfriend!" Katsuki yelled as Kirishima tried to hold back his laughter. "Shut it, shitty hair," he glared at the redhead.

"Kat...su..kitty?" Veronica mumbled, blinking slowly as she awoke. She smiled lazily as she looked up at him, his face turning red. She sat up suddenly, lifting herself till she was above his head, her chest at his eye level. "Katsukitty," Veronica cheered, thrusting her hands into his fluffy ashen blond hair, giggling. "So soft! Where are your ears kitty?"

Katsuki stood frozen, her soft and plump breasts pressing against his face as she giggled and played with his hair. Fuck! How am I supposed to deal with this? She feels so soft and smells so damn good, like vanilla. Kirishima's roaring laughter snapped him out of his daze, and he quickly grabbed Veronica's wrists, pulling her hands from his hair. He pulled her arms down to her sides, bringing her down to his eye level as he sucked in a shaky breath. His cheeks felt hot as he tried to calm himself, Veronica's feet floating in the air above the ground as he held her.

"Veronica," he managed to rasp. "Are you okay?"

She tilted her head to the side, confused. "Why wouldn't I be?"

"Bro, something is seriously wrong with her," Kirishima shook his head.

"Don't you think I realize that," he snapped before turning his attention back to her. "How are you feeling? Do you think you can bring us out of the Void?"

Veronica pouted slightly. "Why would I do that? It's so much more fun here!" She smiled sweetly at him. "It's so safe here. There's no one to bother us, and we can play all day! No one will yell at us if we are too loud. No one will get mad if we can't dance on our toes..." she trailed off, frowning. "No one will hit us if we can't remember the answers..." tears started to form in her eyes, and she sniffled slightly. "No one can hurt us here just because they want to. It's safe. We shouldn't leave."

Katsuki's heart dropped into his chest as she spoke.Is this what she went through when she was growing up? No wonder she won't talk to me about it...

"I don't think she-" Kirishima was cut off by Veronica's loud gasp.

"Oh! And we can eat sweets here!" She smiled brightly again. "Sho-sho always has the best sweets! He likes to share with me when my auntie tells me no." Veronica started looking around, searching for her friend as Katsuki continued to hold her in place. "Where is he? He should come and play with us!"

"I think she's reverted back to a younger age," Katsuki looked to Kirishima. "We're going to have to convince her to take us back."

He nodded, slowly approaching them. "Hey, Veronica, your friend isn't in the Void. We have to leave to go and get him," Kirishima smiled at her, trying to seem as nice as possible.

She turned her head to stare at him, pouting as uncertainty filled her. "Who...who are you?" Her lower lip quivered, afraid of the stranger with the sharp teeth. Veronica glanced to his bright red hair, her eyes going wide. "Wow! Your hair is so pretty!" She giggled.

"Uh, thanks," Kirishima rubbed the back of his head, at a complete loss for words. "Why does she remember you and not me?" He directed his question to Katsuki.

"How the hell am I supposed to know?" Katsuki yelled at him, growing frustrated with the situation.

"Hey!" Veronica turned to yell at Katsuki, her nose scrunched up in anger. "Don't yell, Kitty! It's not nice. You have to be nice to people if you want to be a hero like All Might." Her eyes widened, and she started to giggle again. "You can be a Kitty hero! Oh, we have to find your ears and tail," she looked down to the ground, searching. "Where did they go? Did they fall off?" Concern filled her voice as her eyes darted around.

Kirishima doubled over, his laughter echoing around them. "Oh my god! This is hilarious!"

"Shut up," Katsuki growled at him. "I don't think she's going to be able to bring us both back in this state. One of us will have to stay in the Void with her and carry her to safety when she passes out again."

Kirishima nodded. "You have way more firepower, man. I'd love to help, but in this situation, it's best if you go."

"Okay," Katsuki glanced back to Veronica. "You better take the best fucking care of her shitty hair, you hear me? Anything happens to her, and you're dead!"

"No worries bro," Kirishima smiled. "You'll be leaving her in good hands."

Chapter Text

"Veronica," Katsuki brought her attention back to him as he placed her on the ground. "I need you to send me back to reality, okay?"

"Are you going to go look for Sho-sho?" She looked around. "I can go with you."

Katsuki shook his head and grabbed her chin, gently pulling her face to look at him. "It's dangerous out there. I have to go and save Sho-sho, okay?" He asked gently, doing his best to convince her in her younger mental state. It was so odd for him, seeing her the same way, yet feeling the need to protect her and be as kind as possible, like she was a porcelain doll. "You're going to stay here with him," he pointed to Kirishima, directing Veronica's eyes towards the redhead.

Kirishima waved, trying to give her a reassuring smile. Katsuki let go of her chin, and she slowly nodded. "So you have to send me out of the Void, okay? Then I can come back, and we can play together."

Veronica's blue eyes sparkled, a huge smile spreading across her face. "Okay, Katsukitty!" She placed her hands on his chest, closing her eyes and taking a deep breath like she practiced every day, merging him back into reality.

Kirishima rushed to catch Veronica as she fell backwards, unconscious. "Crap, I hope she's going to be okay." He picked her up, carrying her bridal style like Katsuki had been previously.

Katsuki blinked, realizing he no longer saw Veronica and Kirishima. Great! That worked. He spun around to face the center of the USJ, quickly taking off towards the battle that was going on. Kirishima followed, helplessly watching the scene unfold.

Katsuki saw that All Might had been fighting the bigger creature, who had half of his body through a warp gate, his hands digging into the hero's side as he began to pull him downwards. They're going to try to cut him in half using the warp gate! He saw Deku launch himself forward to try and help, the warp gate villain quickly appearing in front of him.

Katsuki lept forward, propelling himself with his quirk to reach them in time. He set off a massive explosion at the villain, aiming for the chunk of metal armor in the center. "Get the hell outta my way Deku!" He yelled, grabbing onto the villain's armor and throwing him to the ground. He knelt down, holding the villain in place as Shoto appeared, freezing the monster's right side through the warp gate.

"One of your poorly trained thugs told me you were here because you think you can kill All Might," Shoto stated calmly as said hero escaped from the monsters grasp, jumping to stand beside him.

"Guess I found your body that time you smoky bastard," Katsuki grinned.

"The Symbol of Peace will not be defeated by delinquents like you," Shoto continued before glancing to Katsuki. She's not here, and I don't see Kirishima either. Hopefully, she's safe.

"Kurogiri, how could you let this brat get the best of you?" The leader of the villains looked towards them, perplexed. "You've gotten us into a real jam here."

"Huh, you got careless you dumb villain," Katsuki sneered at the villain he held down. "It wasn't hard to figure you out. Only certain parts of you turn into that smoking warp gate. You used that mist to hide your actual body as a kind of distraction, thinking that made you safe. That's why we missed it. But if you didn't have a body, you wouldn't be wearing this neck armor, right? You're not immune to physical attacks if they're well aimed."

The villain tried to struggle out of Katsuki's hold, and he quickly set off multiple explosions through his armor. "DON'T MOVE! Ha! You try anything funny," he leaned down to glare at the man, "and I'll blow your ass up so bad that they'll be piecing you back together for weeks."

Kirishima shook his head, watching from the Void. "Whoa, that doesn't sound very heroic," he chuckled.

"They escaped, uninjured, and captured my two strongest men. Kids these days really are amazing. They make the League of Villains look like amateurs," the villain's leader turned to the monster, annoyed. "Nomu."

The creature reacted instantly, the ice covering his right side cracking as he pulled himself back through the warp gate. With jerky movements, his arm and most of his leg broke off with the ice, leaving him to hobble to an upright position.

"How is that thing still moving?" Midoriya asked incredulously, all of them staring at the creature in surprise. "He's all messed up."

"Stay back everybody!" All Might yelled to them, watching in horror are the monster quickly regrew his limbs. "What is this? I thought you said his power was shock absorption."

"I didn't say that was his only quirk. He also has super regeneration," the villain laughed. "Nomu has been modified to take you on, even at 100 percent of your power. He's basically a highly efficient punching bag that hits back." Everyone tensed for battle at his words. "First, we need to free our method of escape."

"Huh?" Katsuki looked up towards them, hand still holding the warp gate villain in place.

"Get him Nomu."

The creature launched itself at Katsuki, All Might leaping into action and throwing Katsuki out of the way as he blocked the monster's punch. Dust filled the air, gusts of wind blowing Midoriya and Shoto the few meters away to were Katsuki now lay on the ground.

"Ugh, such force," Midoriya braced himself against the wind, looking forward. "Huh?" The Nomu now held the warp villain in Katsuki's place, fear filling him. "Kacchan!" He looked around, noticing his friend sitting on the ground beside him. "Kacchan?" He stared at him incredulously. "Whoa, that's awesome! You dodged him!" Midoriya praised the explosive blond.

"Shut up, no I didn't you damn nerd," Katsuki scolded him, looking at the creature. That speed... I couldn't even see him coming...

"Then how did you..." Midoriya trailed off as they all looked towards All Might as the dust cleared.

Shoto gasped in surprise. "Isn't it obvious?" They watched as the hero coughed, his arms held up in a defensive position.

"All Might!" Midoriya yelled, voicing their concern.

"These are kids, and you didn't hold back?" All Might looked incredulously towards the villains.

The leader began walking towards the creature and his comrade. "I didn't have much choice. He was threatening my companion. Besides, these kids are no angels." He pointed towards the guys. "The plain looking one, he tried to kill me with a maxed out punch." Katsuki looked to Midoriya, surprised.

"What kind of a hero does something like that? You think you can get away with being as violent as you want if you say it's for the sake of others. Well, you know what All Might," he raised his arms, angry. "That pisses me off. Why do people get to decide that some acts are heroic and others are villainous? Casting judgment as to what's good and what's evil. You think you're the Symbol of Peace? Ha! You're just another government-sponsored instrument of violence, and violence always breeds violence." The boys stared at the villain in disbelief. "I'll make sure the world understands that once you're dead."

"You're nothing but a lunatic. Criminals like you, you always try and make your actions sound noble," All Might shook his head. "But admit it, you're only doing this because you like it. Isn't that right?" The villain narrowed his eyes at the hero through the hand covering his face.

"We've got them outnumbered," Shoto stated, determination evident on his face.

"And Kacchan found the mist guys weakness," Midoriya said, raising his fists to fight.

"These dudes may act really tough, but they should be able to take them down with All Mights help," Kirishima nodded in approval from the Void, wishing he could be there to help.

"Let's do this," Midoriya prepared to launch himself forward.

"Don't attack." The boys looked to the hero, surprised. "Get out of here."

"You would have been in trouble earlier if it weren't for me, remember?" Shoto looked at him. "You need our help."

"I thank you for your assistance, but this is different," he nodded to them. "It's gonna be alright. Just sit back and watch a pro at work."

"But you're too hurt, you're bleeding, and you're almost out-" Midoriya caught himself, looking concerned for his mentor. All Might simply gave him a thumbs up.

"Nomu, Kurogiri. Kill him. I'll deal with the children," the leader looked to the others. "Let's clear this level and go home." He quickly launched himself towards the boys, turning to look as Nomu and All Might lept towards each other.

Their fists connected, a massive gust of wind whipping around and knocking the villain's leader back into the air. He quickly recovered, twisting in the air to land on his feet far away. "Weren't you listening?" He sneered at the hero. "One of his powers is shock absorption."

"Yeah? What about it?" All Might continued to fight with the creature, each of them hitting each other, punch for punch. The students crouched low to the ground, struggling to stay in place and watch the battle as gusts of wind and dust came at them in waves.

"He's going to fight that brain guy head on?" Midoriya asked in disbelief.

"Whoa!" Kirishima watched intently from the Void, not having to worry about the backlash of the battle. "They're so fast!"

"No!" The wind pushed the warp gate villain back beside his leader. "I can't get near them."

"He said your quirk was only shock absorption, not nullification. That means there's a limit to what you can take, right?" All Might continued to strategically place his punches. "So, you were made to fight me, big guy? If you can really withstand me fighting at 100 percent of my power, then I'll have to go beyond that and force you to surrender!"

The battle continued on as All Might started to push back the creature with his punches. "A real hero will always find a way for justice to be served." They lept into the air at each other, All Might delivering a punch to Nomu that sent him shooting into the ground, everyone looking at the scene unfold in awe.

"Now for a lesson. You may have heard these words before, but I'll teach you what they really mean." He pulled back his arm, drawing on all of his power. "Go beyond, PLUS ULTRA!" He shot towards the creature, throwing a punch that launched him into the sky, the force sending him flying through the roof of the USJ and into the distance.

The boys watched on in pure awe and admiration for their hero. "That was like the finishing move in a video game," Kirishima smiled brightly. "He beat the shock absorption right out of him. I've never seen that kind of brute strength before."

"Imagine having power like that," Katsuki stared at his role model. "He must have been punching that monster so fast that he couldn't regenerate." That's how you get to be a pro...

Shoto nodded in approval. He really is the best...

Chapter Text

"I really have gotten weaker. Back in my heyday, 5 hits would have been enough to knock that guy out." All Might stood smiling, his fist clenched in front of his body as the dust started to settle. "But today it took more than 300 mighty blows." He turned to look at the villains. "You've been bested, villains. Surrender. We all want to get this over with quickly."

Their leader stood shaking with anger, scratching at his neck as he stayed silent, thinking to himself. "What's wrong? Not attacking me? Didn't you say you were going to clear this level earlier? Well come and get me, if you dare," All Might challenged them, making them step back slightly in fear.

"Man, this is intense," Katsuki watched them curiously.

"As I expected," Shoto nodded. "There is no reason for us to fight now. He'll handle this."

"What? Are you scared?" All Might continued to taunt them.

Their leader started to scratch his neck even more, anxiety and fear taking over. "Ugh, if only Nomu was here. He'd rush you right now and pound you into the ground without giving it a second thought."

"Tomura Shigaraki, please do not fret," the warp gate villain looked towards All Might. "Look at him. He has definitely weakened. Nomu's attacks were successful." The leader stopped his scratching, calming down.

"He's on his own," the villain continued. "The children appear to be frozen in fear, and look! Our underlings are recovering. We likely still have a few minutes before their reinforcements arrive. If you and I work together, we can do this. We haven't missed our chance to kill All Might!"

"Yeah," the leader looked around. "Yeah, you're right. This is it... we have no choice... we have to do it now." He turned to glare at All Might. "I mean, the big end boss is right here."

The guys gasped in surprise, turning to face the weaker villains that were starting to approach them.

"All Might'll be fine, let's take down these bastards," Katsuki raised his firsts, preparing to fight.

Shoto looked towards Midoriya, who was still watching All Might. "Will you be joining us?"

Suddenly the leader of the villains ran towards All Might, screaming. "Consider this revenge for what you did to Nomu!" His comrade quickly made his way towards the hero as well.

Midoriya instantly jumped to his aid, surprising his classmates. "Whoa, Midoriya!" Kirishima cheered.

"Don't you touch All Might, you stupid villains!" He yelled, preparing to punch the warp gate villain.

"I won't fall for that again!" The leader laughed evilly as a warp gate was created, allowing him to stick his hand through, aiming for Midoriya's face.

His hand was quickly shot away with a bullet, and Midoriya came crashing to the ground.

"They're here," All Might sighed in relief as everyone turned to look towards the exit.

The other pro hero teachers had finally arrived, and they quickly began taking down all of the villains. The leader backed away. "Awe man, the pros are here. It's game over for real. Let's go home and try this when we-"

He was quickly shot down by one of the teachers, his companion using a warp gate to protect him. Thirteen used the last of her energy for her quirk, attempting to pull them into a black hole before they could escape.

"I may have failed to kill you this time, but your days are numbered... All Might, Symbol of Peace, I am going to kill you," he shouted in anger before they both disappeared through a warp gate.

"If all the pro-teachers are gathered here, it must mean the rest of the school's safe," Shoto looked towards the exit, rubbing the back of his neck. "The villains attacked this facility, but not the rest of the campus."

Katsuki nodded in agreement. They planned this out well and managed to escape even though they failed...

Shoto turned to look at Katsuki, his grey and turquoise eyes piercing. "Now, where is she?"


Katsuki kicked the sandbag that hung in his room, trying to work out some of his frustration and worry.

He'd had to lead Kirishima to the hospital with a police escort, and since they couldn't guarantee that they were in a vehicle with them, they'd had to walk. It was killing him, not knowing if Veronica was okay in the Void.

The hospital had given her a room and a bed, even though both of them were still in the Void. The Dr hadn't been much help either. With Katsuki's explanation of Veronica's earlier behavior, they'd decided that it was best to let her rest for a few hours before Kirishima attempted to wake her up again.

They were worried about leaving Veronica for too long without medical attention, but forcing her to use her quirk too soon could make things worse.

Even better, Shoto had just stood there silently the whole time, listening to his explanation with a stern face. Katsuki had been smart enough to leave the part about Veronica crawling all over him out of his story though.

Fuck! He punched the sandbag, a few explosions erupting from his hand. I hate just sitting here and waiting!

"HEY!" Katsuki heard his mom yell to him. "NO USING YOUR QUIRK IN THE HOUSE BRAT!"

"SHUT IT YOU OLD HAG!" He screamed back, reaching out to stop the swinging of the now burnt bag.

He'd given the hospital his cell number, insisting that they call him the second Veronica returned from the Void. You'd better have taken good care of her shitty hair.

He huffed in frustration, running his hand through his hair as he sat down on his bed. His mind wandered to what had taken place earlier that day in the Void.

"Katsukitty!"

He blushed, remembering how Veronica had clung to him, playing with his hair as her chest pressed against his face. Fuck! It didn't help that her top was so low cut too... He shook his head, rubbing his hand across his face.

She acted so sweet and innocent... Katsuki frowned. She'd be so terrified of leaving the Void, afraid someone was going to hurt her. It's because of that god damn woman! She's probably been beating her all her life. His jaw clenched just thinking about the sadness and fear in her blue eyes.

I have to make sure that she's safe. I won't let anyone hurt her anymore.

Chapter Text

Katsuki had been trying to study when his phone finally rang around 7 pm that night.

He swore as he knocked it off of his desk in his haste, quickly diving to the floor to grab it and answer. "Hello?"

"Bro! Glad you picked up!"

"Shitty hair?" Katsuki furrowed his brow.

"Yeah, the nurse gave me your number and said to call," he chuckled nervously. "Ah, so, we're back now."

"No shit," Katsuki shook his head. "Where's Veronica?"

"Oh, um, about that..." Kirishima trailed off.

"OI! Answer me!" Katsuki growled into his phone.

"Bakugo... it's not good."

Katsuki froze, his heart sinking as he processed Kirishima's remorse filled words. Is she... He hung up, shoving his phone into his pants pocket. He quickly grabbed his jacket and keys, racing out the door and past his surprised mother.

"OI! Where're you going brat?" She yelled after him as he rushed out of the house, taking off down the street.

He didn't listen to his mother's shouting. It didn't matter. All that mattered now was getting to that damn hospital. God damn it! You better be okay you stupid fucking girl, or I'll murder you!


Kirishima looked around as he continued to pace back and forth in front of the hospital. They'd quickly released him once they'd finished some necessary tests, satisfied that nothing seemed to be wrong.

"Bakugo!" Kirishima called as the explosive blond came running into his sight. He'd figured that after Katsuki'd hung up abruptly that he was on his way.

"WHERE IS SHE SHITTY HAIR?!" Katsuki fumed as he approached the redhead, hand raised as multiple explosions erupted.

"Bro, chill!" Kirishima raised his arms, trying to calm him. "They won't let you into the hospital to see her if you're acting like that!"

Katsuki stopped mid-rampage. "She's alive?"

"Of course she's alive!" Kirishima shook his head. "You think I'd be out here waiting for you, dry-eyed if she weren't. I may be manly, but I ain't heartless!"

Katsuki's tense posture relaxed, the pit in his stomach slowly dissipating. "Then what the hell was that over the phone, you idiot?"

Kirishima rubbed the back of his neck, glancing down to his feet before meeting Katsuki's crimson eyes. "They don't know when she'll wake up, or if she'll even be okay when she does..."

Katsuki felt cold, almost like all the warmth had suddenly been stolen from his body. "What room?"

"Bakugo..." Kirishima stepped in his path. "You didn't see what she was like when I woke her up. She was..."

"SHE WAS WHAT SHITTY HAIR?!"

Kirishima clenched his jaw, fighting to get the words out. "It was like she was a zombie."

Katsuki stared blankly at him as he continued. "She... she didn't even respond when I talked to her. Her eyes were open, and she was breathing, but she just kept staring off into nothing, like she wasn't really there. It was like she couldn't really see or hear me."

"I had to ask her over and over again to try and send me back, but nothing. I don't even know if she actually eventually heard me or just happened to notice me. She just reached her hand up and touched my shoulder, sending us both back here while I was in the middle of asking again." Kirishima clenched his jaw. "She passed out as soon as we were back here again. They've got her hooked up to all kinds of machines and whatnot, but they don't seem to have very high hopes."

Katsuki'd heard enough. He pushed Kirishima aside, storming through the entrance to the hospital and to the nurses' desk. "I'm looking for Unmei Veronica's room," he ground out, surprising the older looking lady.

"Oh, give me a minute and I'll look it up," she turned to her computer, typing in a few things before scrolling down the screen. "Room 305, but you-" he was already gone.

He raced up the few flights of stairs, not having the patience to wait for the elevator. He almost ran into some other people in his frantic state, desperate to see for himself that Veronica was actually there, alive.

He kicked open the door to her room, taking in the scene before him. Kirishima hadn't been lying. Multiple tubes and wires were hooked up to Veronica's body, an IV attached to one arm and a few machines beeping and spitting out information around her.

Katsuki glanced to the figure seated beside her bed, his back turned to him. There was no mistaking his red and white hair.

Katsuki slowly took a step forward, wanting to go to Veronica but unsure of how to proceed with Shoto present.

"This is twice now."

Katsuki froze at his words as Shoto slowly stood, turning to face him. His expression was unreadable, his voice cold.

"The first time I could understand. It wasn't your fault after all. But this time..." Shoto glanced back towards Veronica's sleeping form, his hands forming fists at his sides.

When he turned back to look at Katsuki, his grey and blue eyes held pure rage. "This time it was because of your own stupidity. You couldn't just stand back and let them handle it like they were told to. No, you just had to jump into action and get in the way." He voice grew louder as he spoke, his body shaking. "Do you even think before you act? Or are you just so full of yourself that the lives of those around you don't really matter?"

"If it weren't for you... IF IT WEREN'T FOR YOU, SHE WOULDN'T BE HERE RIGHT NOW!" Steam began to rise from his body, his anger reaching its peak.

"DON'T YOU THINK I KNOW THAT?!" Katsuki yelled, his anger at himself and the situation finally boiling over. "Do you really think I'd be here to see her if I didn't?!"

"You need to leave," Shoto started towards him. "You have no right to be here. She would have been safe if it weren't for you! She wouldn't have risked her life!"

Katsuki met him head-on. "So what? You want to keep her locked up and away from the world? She's in training to be a pro hero for fuck sakes! She's going to be doing that and more every day for the rest of her life!" Katsuki'd had enough of his perfect boyfriend routine. "Get it through your fucking head you bastard! This is what she wants to do with her fucking life and if you can't handle her putting herself in danger for others, then fuck off! If you can't respect her decision to be a hero, THEN YOU SHOULDN'T FUCKING BE WITH HER!"

"WHAT THE HELL GIVES YOU THE RIGHT TO-"

"ENOUGH!"

They froze, one foot apart, arms raised in preparation for battle. They both turned their heads to look at the door, the familiar form of their principle in the doorway.

"You boys need to calm down," Principle Nezu tsked, walking towards them. "I doubt that Miss Unmei would be too happy that her friends are fighting, and I can guarantee that the hospital staff will kick you both out if you don't stop."

Both boys slowly lowered their arms, stepping apart as he walked between them and towards Veronica's bed. "I just talked to the Doctor. He said that her vital signs are all looking good and that she could wake up any time now."

"It's my understanding that she had a similar incident last year," he turned to Shoto, who nodded. "If she was able to recover quickly from that, I don't suspect this will be much different, despite what the doctors say. She's a strong girl and an excellent student, and I'm sure she wouldn't be happy that you're both questioning her capabilities. She did what she felt was necessary to ensure everyone's safety, just as she was taught."

He smiled at them, raising his arms. "So don't worry! I'm sure she'll be awake and well very soon!" He turned his attention to Katsuki. "We should be leaving now, we wouldn't want to disrupt her too much in this state."

Katsuki glanced at Veronica's sleeping form. If he ignored the monitors and tubes, he could almost pretend she was just taking a nap. Almost. "What about him?" He jerked his head towards Shoto. "Why does he get to stay?"

"Todoroki here is the only family representative available for Unmei at the moment. Her aunt is overseas, and his father is a busy man, so I've granted him a temporary leave of absence until Unmei wakes up," Principle Nezu explained.

Katsuki narrowed his eyes at Shoto but remained silent as Nezu lead him out of Veronica's room. "Do not worry, I'm sure you'll see her again very soon."

Chapter Text

Veronica slowly opened her eyes, blinking a few times in an attempt to adjust her blurry vision. She raised her hands to rub her face, hissing in pain as something tugged at her right arm. She laid it back down, using just her left side instead.

Her immediate vision was filled with some sort of machines, various beeps, and noises reaching her ears. Looking down, Veronica noticed multiple wires attached to her chest and arms, presumably connected to the devices around her. An IV adorned her right elbow, and she slowly realized that she must have been in a hospital.

Why does this seem so familiar? Veronica sat up slowly, clutching her head as pain shot behind her eyes. A dull throbbing made its way through her skull, an overwhelming feeling of nausea threatening to make her puke.

What the hell happened? Why am I here? Was I in an accident? Dread filled her as the memory of bright lights and screeching metal returned. Mom! Where's Mom? Is she okay?

Veronica frantically turned her head, searching for her mother, the sudden movement making her dizzy. She gripped the railing around her hospital bed, leaning over the side to empty her stomach onto the white tiled floor.

"Oh my god! Veronica! Are you okay?!"

Footsteps sounded as someone ran to her, their hands reaching out to pull her golden hair up and out of the way as she continued to vomit. Her stomach was already empty, but it didn't stop. Her throat burned as stomach acid and bile continued to make its way out of her body.

Veronica stayed hunched over, gasping for air once it had finally ended, a rancid taste in her mouth. She felt her hair shift as whoever had come to help her moved one hand down to gently rub her back, trying to soothe her.

"It's okay, I'm here. You're safe now," his words were soft and reassuring, his voice sounding vaguely familiar.

Veronica slowly turned her head to look up at him, a pair of grey and turquoise eyes meeting hers. White and red bangs fell into his face, concern evident in his soft features. Sho-sho?

She winced as a sharp pain shot behind her eyes once more, leaving her to turn back to the floor, dry heaving. Veronica coughed and gasped for air, closing her eyes and gritting her teeth as she slowly sat back up.

The boy placed one hand on her shoulder, helping to steady her. That's right, it's been a few years since mom was killed... She tried to fight the tears that sprung to her eyes as she opened them.

Veronica looked to the boy who was now eyeing her suspiciously, probably worried that she was going to start puking again. He does look a lot like Sho-sho, but he's too old to be him, isn't he? Maybe one of his brothers? She squinted at the boy, confused.

"Are you all right?" He slowly removed his hands, making sure that she was able to stay upright without his help.

"I think so..." she rasped, wincing at the slight pain it caused. Her mouth was already so dry, and vomiting had done nothing to help her throat. "Who... who are you?"


"It appears she's suffering from some memory loss due to the overexertion of her quirk," the Doctor informed Shoto.

He peeked through the window in the door, watching as a nurse chatted with Veronica. "How long will it last?" He looked back to the Doctor.

"I'd say, maybe a week at most," he sighed. "Things should start to slowly return to her over the next few days, though it's likely that she will never remember what happened the day of the incident. Right now, it seems that's she's missing close to the past 10 years of her memory, maybe a bit less."

"And you're sure she'll regain all of her memories?" Shoto frowned. How is she going to manage without her memories?

"Yes, I'm quite certain," the Dr reassured him. "Like I said, it will take a week or so for her to regain them. Her mental state is still the same as before, she's simply missing some information. Most of her memories will return as she goes through her daily life, so she should continue as if nothing's happened. I hope that you'll be able to watch over her carefully until then."

"That shouldn't be a problem," Shoto nodded.

"Good," the Doctor gave him a small smile. "She'll be able to go home shortly." He went on his way, leaving Shoto to return to the hospital room.

Veronica looked up as he entered, eyeing him as the nurse continued to remove all of the sensors from her body. Is that really Sho-sho? He looks so... good... She blushed slightly, turning away from his gaze.

"There, you're all done now sweetheart," the older lady smiled down at her. "You're free to go home now. This fine young gentleman will be taking you home," she motioned towards Shoto.

Veronica nodded. "Okay, thank you."

The nurse hurried on her way, leaving them alone. Veronica turned to look back at Shoto, unsure of how to proceed.

"I know this might seem strange to you," he started slowly. "And I know that it'll be hard to trust me since you don't really remember me, but I'm going to take care of you until you get better, okay?"

She smiled weakly at him. "If you're really my Sho-sho, then of course I trust you."

Shoto's cool demeanor faltered, his eyes widening in surprise. "You remember me?" Veronica nodded, slowly standing up from the hospital bed. "How much do you remember?"

"Not much," she frowned. "I'm pretty sure you should only be about 8 or 9 right now, but clearly that's not the case."

He shook his head, smiling slightly. "Come on, I'll take you home and explain some things on the way."

Chapter Text

"And this is your apartment," Shoto pushed open the front door, pocketing his key. He'd been kind enough to have a ride arranged for them from the hospital, allowing Veronica to rest a bit more on their way home. The drive had been quiet, Shoto's worried gaze constantly drifting towards her as she tried to ignore the pounding in her head.

"If this is my place, then why do you have a key Sho-sho?" Veronica eyed him curiously, stepping into the place that was supposed to have been her home for the past 2 years.

"It's a spare for emergencies," he closed the door behind himself, slipping off his shoes. "I know it might be odd for you, staying in an unfamiliar place, but I'll be staying with you until most of your memories return."

Veronica nodded, looking around the apartment as she walked away from the entrance. It opened up into a spacious living room, a half wall separating it from the kitchen, with a small set of stairs leading up half a level to the rest of the apartment. The place looked nice, with a dark grey couch, a matching love seat and chair, and a small oak coffee table adorning the room. The darker color scheme and white walls seemed almost depressing though. Veronica scrunched her nose, promising herself to add a splash of color somewhere. Glancing around, she saw a decent sized flat screen TV mounted to the wall. Below that sat a small sound system and a shelf filled with various movies and consoles.

She winced as a memory flashed through her mind; images of late nights spent curled up on the love seat, school work in her lap.

"Are you okay?" Shoto touched her shoulder gently, his grey and turquoise eyes focusing on her face.

Veronica nodded slowly. "Yeah, just some memories that've come back."

"The Doctor said that they could come back at any time." He let go of her shoulder, dropping his bag by the couch before starting towards the kitchen. "I'll make you some soup. One of the nurses told me that you shouldn't start with anything solid or too hard on your stomach."

"Have I been out for that long, Sho-sho?" She frowned as she followed behind him, sitting down at the small, black metal table in one corner of the kitchen. "We go to school, right? I hope I haven't missed too much."

Shoto shook his head as he began pulling out the things he needed to cook. "No, you were only asleep for about a day, no worse than last time. They cancelled school today as well since the attack was only yesterday."

"No worse than last time?" Veronica grabbed her head, pain shooting behind her eyes. Images flashed before her; an ashen blond boy with crimson eyes, filled with desperation and anger as he fought for his life. She hissed, looking up to see that Shoto was now leaning down to look at her, worry etched into his features.

"Ah, sorry..." she mumbled, gritting her teeth.

"Another memory?"

"Mhm," she rubbed her temples, the pain slowly fading again.

Shoto sighed, straightening as he headed towards one of the dark wood cupboards above the pristine marble counter, pulling out a bottle of pills. "These might help with the pain. They didn't want to prescribe you anything in case it interfered with the return of your memories."

He set the bottle of pain medication on the table in front of Veronica, going to grab her a glass of water. "I take it you just remembered the incident that happened last year?"

"Yeah," she sighed, taking the glass from him. "What exactly happened yesterday? I take it I saved someone using the Void again?"

"Something like that." Shoto's face became unreadable as he returned to making her food. "You saved two of my classmates yesterday. You were helping with our training when a bunch of villains attacked."

"Helping with your training..." she trailed off. "Wait, does that mean I'm going to UA as well?!" Veronica sat up straight, a smile spreading across her face. "I can't believe it, that's awesome!"

Shoto stared at her blankly for a second before chuckling lowly. "Yeah, it is. I almost forgot; the Doctor said that you wouldn't remember things in any specific order, so things may be a bit jumbled."

"Figures," she sighed, grabbing a couple of pills and swallowing them with some water. "It'd be too easy otherwise."

His lips twitched into the ghost of a smile, his attention still on the task at hand. Veronica leaned on the table, resting her head in her hands as she watched Shoto move around the kitchen effortlessly. What a sweetheart. He brushed his bangs out of his face before leaning over the counter to chop vegetables. His cheeks weren't as cute and chubby as she remembered, but he hadn't yet fully developed a stronger jawline either. She'd probably still be able to pinch his soft cheeks or run her fingers along his sharpening jawline if she wanted to.

She watched the muscles tense and move in his toned arms, biting her bottom lip. Broad shoulders lead down to a toned back, easily noticeable through the soft cotton of his pale blue t-shirt. He reached above to grab some spices from a shelf, his shirt riding up to reveal slim hips and pale skin dotted with light pink scars. The black band of his boxers peeked out from the top of his dark blue jeans for a moment before being hidden beneath his shirt once more. Veronica's cheeks flushed as she looked away, feeling slightly guilty for peeking. She shook her head. What the hell am I worried about? We are technically engaged, right? She remembered that much at least. Besides, we're both in high school now, it's only natural to think about stuff like that.

Veronica cleared her throat, glancing back towards Shoto. "Hey, Sho-sho?"

"Yeah?" He glanced back towards her, stirring the soup he was now heating on the stove.

"Um," she straightened, swallowing hard. "We're dating now, aren't we?"

"Yeah, we are," he nodded, adding some spices to the soup. "Though I guess you won't really remember that for a few days. Don't worry though, I'm not going to do anything until your memories return," he stated calmly.

Not going to do anything? Does that mean... Images of having his hard body pressed against hers floated through her head. Her mouth watered slightly as she pictured climbing up his muscled chest to kiss his pale pink lips, imagining how his soft, multicolored hair would feel around her fingers. Have we done that already? Have we done more?

Veronica jumped slightly as Shoto set a bowl down on the table in front of her, jolting her from her sexy daydreams. Her cheeks heated as she watched him sit down across from her, seemingly oblivious to her dirty thoughts. Thank god he doesn't have a mind reading quirk.

She took a deep breath, trying to calm herself as she dug into the yummy smelling vegetable soup. "Thanks, Sho-sho," Veronica smiled at him around a spoonful. "It tastes delicious!"

"You're welcome," he chuckled at her enthusiasm as she ate.

"So, what exactly happened with the villain attack yesterday?"

Shoto sighed. "A bunch of low-level villains attacked our class at the USJ. Apparently, they thought they had a way to defeat All Might." He shook his head. "They had it pretty well planned out, but of course they failed once All Might showed up."

"That's not good," she frowned. "Was anyone hurt?"

Shoto's expression hardened, frost forming on the outside of his bowl. "Sho?" Veronica reached across the small table to place her hand on his cold one, worried by his silence.

"Uh, sorry," he blinked himself out of his own thoughts, using his other hand to reheat his soup before placing it on top of hers. His eyes met hers, the dull grey and bright blue orbs softening. "Two of the teachers were hurt pretty badly while they were trying to protect us. Other than you, one of my classmates was hurt, but that was because of his quirk."

He squeezed her hand reassuringly as her expression faltered. "Which teachers?"

"Thirteen and Mr. Aizawa."

"Oh my god..." Thirteen was no joke. She was fairly powerful, and Mr. Aizawa had the ability to erase others quirks so he wouldn't have been easy to fight either. Veronica winced as more memories flooded into her mind.

Images of Mr. Aizawa training her in combat, helping her to hone her own abilities with a quirk that wasn't necessarily good for offense. Tears began to stream down her face. Shoto frowned, moving her hand in his so that he could massage her knuckles.

"It's okay. They're both going to be okay. As far as we were told, they're both out of critical condition. They'll just need lots of rest and time to recover fully." Veronica nodded, sniffling. "I know you were close with Mr. Aizawa. He was the one who trained you after school most days, right?"

She scrunched up her face, trying to organize the jumble of memories and feelings. "Yeah, I think so."

He nodded, giving her hand one last squeeze before letting it go. "We should finish eating. I know that it's still fairly early, but we could watch a movie or something if you don't want to go to sleep right away?"

"Yeah, okay," she forced a smile, wiping away her tears. It quickly disappeared as she continued to eat her soup, the softened vegetables slightly harder to swallow. Veronica glanced towards the silver clock that hung on the wall above the kitchen sink. She sighed. It really is still early. How can it be only 6:15 if I'm this tired?

Shoto followed her gaze. "Don't worry about staying up if you're tired, Veronica. I don't mind."

"Are you sure?" She bit her lip. He is still a guest, it would be rude for me to go to bed so early.

"I'm sure," he smiled faintly. "I didn't sleep much last night, so I wouldn't mind heading to bed fairly early as well."

She looked at him, noticing for the first time how tired he really was. His eyes were rimmed with pale purple circles, his eyes showing his exhaustion. I guess I wouldn't sleep much either if he'd spent the night in the hospital. Veronica kicked herself for not noticing earlier. "Okay. I'll help you clean up quick, then we can go to bed."

Shoto shook his head. "If you're done, just leave the dishes in the sink and go get ready for bed. We can deal with them in the morning."

"Okay." She finished off the last bit of her soup before standing and going to discard her dishes in the sink.

"I'll be up in a few minutes to make sure you're all right," Shoto raised his spoon to her before continuing to eat.

"Um, Sho-sho?" Veronica bit her lip as she turned to face him fully, fidgeting with the edge of her t-shirt. Is he going to be sleeping with me tonight? Would that mean that something more could happen? She blushed slightly. I mean, if we've already done it... it wouldn't hurt to do it now too, right? Images of her earlier daydreams soared through her brain, making her shiver.

"Yeah? Something wrong?" His brows furrowed slightly, his spoon stopped partway to his mouth.

"Are we...um...are we going to, well, um," she stuttered, trying to keep her breathing even. "Are we going to have sex?" She finally blurted.

Shoto's spoon dropped, bouncing off of the table and onto the floor as he stared at her, eyes wide. His mouth opened and closed, no sound coming out as he tried to process what she'd just asked. "What? No, I wouldn't want to..."

Shoto mentally cursed as he watched Veronica's face fall slightly, clearly embarrassed and... disappointed?

"Not that I wouldn't want to. I mean, obviously, I want to, it's just-" he quickly smacked his hand over his mouth to stop his scrambling, his face turning red as he realized what he'd just said.

Veronica looked at the floor as she covered her warm cheeks with her hands, trying to calm herself. Oh my god! I can't believe I just asked that! And he said he wanted to but... is it because of my memories?

She looked up at Shoto as he sucked in a deep breath, trying to calm himself. "Veronica, we've only been dating for about a week."

Her eyes almost popped out of her skull. A WEEK! And I just asked him if he wanted to have sex?! What the fuck is wrong with me?! She covered her face, quickly turning and rushing out of the kitchen and up the stairs. We probably haven't even kissed yet, and here I am drooling over his body and inviting him to my bed.

Chapter Text

Shoto held his breath and began counting. I need to calm down. He hadn't expected Veronica to say something like that. Now his mind was racing; images of her beneath him, breathless and naked, filled his head. Damn it! He shifted in his seat, trying to alleviate some of the pain his jeans were causing against his hardening cock.

Of course, he'd love to have sex with her. Hell, he'd been researching as much as he could on the topic already. He wanted to make sure that when it finally happened, she'd be as satisfied as possible, despite the fact that they were both inexperienced. Unfortunately, it was definitely not the time for that to be happening. Yet.

Shoto groaned in frustration, rubbing a cold hand down his face. He slowly stood, grabbing his spoon off of the floor before pitching the rest of his soup and dumping the dishes in the sink.

He went to the couch to grab his bag before slowly making his way up the stairs and down the hall to the bathroom. He glanced towards Veronica's closed bedroom door as he passed. How the hell am I supposed to face her now?


How the hell am I supposed to face him now?! Veronica mentally screamed at herself. She paced around her room, trying to calm herself down.

What's he going to think of me now? Did I just ruin everything? She groaned, flopping down onto her bed. What the hell was I thinking?

You wanted to have sex with him, obviously. Veronica rolled her eyes, sighing. She sat up slowly, wincing as more memories flooded into her head. Her face quickly became flushed, her breathing uneven as images of nights spent touching herself to the thought of Shoto flooded her mind. God damn it!

Veronica stood, walking quickly over to her dresser to grab some clothes to sleep in. She pulled out an oversized All Might t-shirt she frequently used as pajamas and began stripping. She bit her lip as she peeled off her black pair of panties, slightly embarrassed by the wet mark clearly evident in the crotch.

Well, if I'm not going to be having sex with him... She quickly pulled on the colorful cotton shirt, the hem grazing her mid-thigh. Veronica grabbed a new pair of navy blue panties from her drawer and threw them on before shutting off the lights and hurrying to bed.

Slipping under the silky covers, she shifted so that she was lying on her back, knees bent and spread slightly to give herself easy access. She closed her eyes, imagining that she was once again in the kitchen with Shoto as he cooked.

"What do you want to eat for dinner, sweetheart?" Shoto glanced towards Veronica, a smile adorning his dusty pink lips.

She bit her lip as she stared at him, squirming where she stood. "Is it bad if I say I want to eat you?"

A wicked smile spread across his face, his grey and turquoise eyes becoming hooded with lust. "Not at all. Come here," he cooed, a lean muscular arm stretching out towards Veronica as she approached him.

His warm arm snaked around her waist, making her gasp as he pulled her against his toned chest, smashing his soft lips against hers. She reached her arms up to wrap them around his neck, thrusting her hands into his soft multicolored hair as he deepened the kiss, stealing her breath away. His hard body felt amazing against hers, her heaving chest smashed against his as he twined his free hand in her golden locks, tugging lightly to pull her mouth from his.

Electricity shot through Veronica's body as his lips traced their way down her jaw and neck, finding her soft spot as his licked and nibbled lightly, making her moan.

Veronica let out a mew of pleasure as her one hand danced its way into her silk panties, finding her clit. She tentatively began to rub the sensitive bud, her back arching as her other hand snaked its way up her shirt, pinching and massaging her breasts.

"Veronica?" Shoto knocked lightly on her closed bedroom door.

Veronica froze, eyes nearly popping out of her skull. FUCK! She quickly pulled her hands out of her clothes, grabbing the covers and rolling onto her side. She took a deep breath, forcing herself to calm down as she tried to ignore the insistent throbbing in her core. How did I manage to forget that he was here?

"Yeah?" She winced as her voice cracked slightly.

"Is it alright if I come in?" Shoto called, uncertain.

"Um, yeah, sure," Veronica gulped, hoping he wouldn't notice what she'd been up to.

Light spilled into her bedroom as Shoto opened the door, the light from the hallway illuminating his way into her room. Veronica watched as he took a couple steps forward, his white and red hair slightly messy. He wore a pair of white and dark blue checkered pajama pants, coupled with a dark grey cotton v-neck t-shirt. "Oh, sorry, I didn't realize that you were already in bed."

"No, it's alright," she sat up slowly. "Do you need anything?"

"No, I just wanted to say goodnight before heading to bed. I'll be asleep on the couch if you need anything."

"Oh, okay," she nodded. "Good night Sho-sho."

Veronica watched as he turned to leave, biting her lip. She'd almost forgotten how unfamiliar her environment was. She only held a handful of memories centered around this apartment now, and the thought of spending a night alone in the dark in said environment made her nervous. "Hey, Sho-sho?"

He paused, glancing back towards her. "Yes?"

"Would it, um, maybe be possible for you to sleep in my bed tonight?" Veronica fidgeted with the covers as she looked towards him. "I'm kind of worried about sleeping here alone. I know we used to sleep together all the time as kids, and I thought that maybe..." she rambled on.

"Veronica, it's fine," Shoto smiled sweetly at her. "I understand, don't worry."

"Okay, thank you," she sighed in relief as he leaned out of the room to turn off the hall light. A flickering light appeared in his palm as he turned back towards her, using his quirk to light his way in the dark.

Veronica scooted to the far side of her single bed, giving Shoto as much space as possible as he extinguished his light and crawled into bed and under the covers with her. They laid down, facing each other in the dark. Veronica closed her eyes, shifting slightly, trying to ignore the dampness in her panties. It's not like I can leave to change them, he might get suspicious.

"Veronica?" Shoto whispered after a couple of minutes, not wanting to wake her if she had already fallen asleep.

"Yeah?" She whispered back, eyes still closed.

"Is it okay if we snuggle?"

She choked on air, taken completely by surprise. "Um, yeah, sure." Veronica opened her eyes to see that Shoto was watching her in the faint light that seeped through the curtains covering her window. "I know I used to snuggle you as the big spoon when we were little, but you're a lot bigger now," she giggled nervously.

"I'll be the big spoon," he replied evenly, seemingly unaffected. Bastard. How can he stay so calm in this situation?

He wasn't the one touching himself earlier, duh. Veronica nodded, rolling around to face her bedroom wall as Shoto wrapped his arms around her waist, snuggling into her back. He feels so warm.

She sighed contently at the familiar feeling of him snuggling against her, her eyelids becoming heavy as her exhaustion hit her once more. The smell of pine enveloped Veronica as she quickly drifted off to sleep in Shoto's toned arms, her earlier activities causing her to have some wonderfully sensual dreams.

Shoto breathed in Veronica's sweet vanilla scent as she slept, placing a kiss lightly against the top of her head as she snuggled back into him. God, I love her so much. Shoto smiled, happy to have her in his arms as she slept soundly. He closed his eyes, slowly beginning to drift off to sleep against her.

Veronica moaned lowly in her sleep, Shoto's eyes springing open at the sound. She remained silent, making him think he'd just been hearing things. At least, until she pushed back against him, grinding her round ass into his crotch.

Shoto groaned, tightening his hold on Veronica's waist in an attempt to stop her movements. She whimpered, the sleepy sound filled with want and need as she continued to shift against him. What the hell is she dreaming about?

Shoto tensed and clenched his jaw as he fought not to thrust against her as she continued to rub her soft and plump ass against his hardening cock. He swore as he quickly realized that she wasn't wearing any pants, the hem of her shirt ridding upwards as she wriggled against him. Fuck, Veronica, are you trying to kill me?!

He dug his fingers into her sides, managing to halt her movements as her soft moans slowly turned back into even breathing. He let out the breath he'd been holding, loosening his grip on Veronica. Shoto buried his face into her hair, taking in her familiar vanilla scent as he forced himself to calm down. How the hell am I supposed to sleep now?

Chapter Text

Veronica awoke to an empty bed. It seemed odd to her, but she couldn't quite remember why. She yawned and stretched, glancing towards her alarm clock. She'd managed to wake up a few minutes before her alarm. Fighting the urge to curl back up under the covers and savor those last few sleepy minutes, she crawled out of her warm bed. She stretched once more before rubbing her hand down her face, attempting to wake herself up.

Slipping on her black house slippers, Veronica slowly made her way out of her bedroom and down the short hall to the bathroom. It didn't even dawn on her how odd it was, that the door was closed. At least, until she pushed it open.

Veronica stood in the doorway, eyes wide as she took in the sight before her. Shoto was standing in the middle of her bathroom, fresh from the shower. His arms were raised above his head as he dried his damp red and white locks with a towel. She swallowed hard, taking in his broad shoulders and bare chest. A toned stomach lead down to his slim hips, lined with a fuzzy white towel. He had the towel wrapped around his waist, hiding his lower half from her eyes. Her focus narrowed in on a few water droplets that ran down from his hair, agonizingly slow as they made their way down his pale skin, over small scars and lean muscles, before disappearing beneath the top of the towel.

Veronica bit her lower lip, her half-asleep brain creating the most sinfully wonderful images. Shoto pushing her up onto the bathroom counter, his lips finding hers... God, take me now! She groaned in frustration, hands fisting into the fabric at the front of her cotton shirt, pressing her thighs together tightly as heat filled her core.

Shoto's head snapped towards Veronica at the sound of her frustration, his arms lowering the towel from his head. His grey and turquoise eyes widened in surprise before narrowing in on her aroused movements. His dick twitched as he watched her. Her creamy thighs, lightly dotted with fading bruises from training, pressed firmly against each other, rubbing slightly. Veronica's hands worked away at the hem of her colorful All Might shirt, her round chest heaving as she fought for air. The low cut collar of the shirt fell off of one shoulder, revealing some of her cleavage and the gentle slope of her neck. Shoto licked his lips instinctively, wanting to bury his face in the crook of her neck and wrap himself up in her sweet vanilla scent.

His eyes darted to Veronica's face, her golden blond hair falling down in tangles, framing her slightly flushed cheeks. Her light pink lips puckered somewhat, making him want to kiss her... but it was her eyes that did him in. Her bright blue orbs were hooded and filled with lust, watching him as if she hadn't eaten in years, and he was her favorite meal.

"Veronica..." Shoto breathed, the sweet sound making a shiver run down her spine as if he'd physically touched her.

"Shoto," she practically purred, brain fuzzy with arousal. "Sorry, I didn't realize that you were in here."

He nodded slowly, but neither of them made a move to leave. Shoto fought to keep his arousal under control, but it was growing more difficult as the seconds ticked by.

"I need to get dressed," he choked out. The requirement for Veronica to leave was implied, but she remained rooted to the spot. Shoto clenched his jaw, frustration evident. "Please, Veronica, you need to leave. You're making things... hard."

Her gaze instantly shifted to Shoto's lower half, making him curse under his breath. He could only imagine how little the towel did to hide his own arousal. Judging by the way she was now tugging harder at the hem of her shirt, he was right. "Veronica, please..." Shoto rasped as steam started to rise from his body. "Before I do something we'll both regret."

Please. Veronica practically whimpered at his words, watching as the desperate sound made Shoto's fists clench at his sides. Would it really be so bad, if he were to just push me up against the wall and... She sucked in a breath and winced slightly as a memory flashed through her mind. Intense crimson eyes, coupled with an intoxicating smell of cinnamon and smoke. It was the wake-up call she needed.

Veronica quickly reached for the door, pulling it closed before she spun on her heels and escaped back down the hall to her bedroom.

What. The. Actual. Fuck! She swore as she flopped down on her bed, confusion filling her aroused brain. Who the hell was that? Veronica tried to replay the memory in her head, of the boy she didn't know, pushing her up against the door of an empty classroom. The memory was fuzzy like it kept dancing just out of reach as she tried to grab onto it. There was clearly, well, something, between her and the ashen blond; she just couldn't figure out what, exactly.

He'd been about to kiss her, as far as Veronica could remember, before someone knocking at the door had interrupted. They had also been arguing about something. But what? And when? She gasped, covering her mouth with her hands. No! Don't tell me that I was dating someone before Shoto?!

She rolled onto her stomach, rubbing her hands down her face. Come on, Veronica, think! Maybe he was my boyfriend, and we had to break up when Shoto started at UA... She groaned in frustration. The harder she thought about it, the farther away it seemed. That would explain why we were fighting at least.

Veronica sighed, trying to rake her brain for something, anything, that would help her to figure out what was going on. I don't even know the guy's name, for god sakes! How old is he? Is he in my class? Obviously, we all go to the same school. She grabbed her pillow and pulled it to her face, screaming. Why is this so fucking difficult?!

"Veronica?" Shoto knocked lightly on her bedroom door, drawing her attention. "You can use the bathroom now."

"Okay, thanks!" She yelled back, sucking in a breath as he reminded her of what had happened only a few minutes ago. I need a cold shower...

Chapter Text

Veronica hummed happily, swinging her and Shoto's intertwined hands as they walked to school together. She was trying her best to keep herself distracted, her nervousness visible to Shoto's trained eye.

"Hey, it'll be alright, you know?" He pulled her to a stop as she turned to face him. His lips formed a reassuring smile, though his eyes betrayed his own concern. "You're friends already know that you won't remember them, so there's nothing to worry about. I'll be right beside you, the whole time, I promise." Shoto squeezed her hand lightly, trying to comfort her.

"I know," Veronica sighed. Not that she was too worried about them anyways. Shoto had informed her over breakfast that her normal group of four had come to visit while she was in the hospital. He'd made sure to tell them the night she'd woken up that she'd be returning to school the next day, amnesia and all. Though he'd done his best to convince her to stay home and rest beforehand.

No, her friends weren't the problem; it was the mystery guy that she hadn't been able to learn anything about. From Shoto's descriptions, none of Veronica's friends matched her memory of the ashen blond with the intense crimson eyes. She'd pieced together the fact that he'd been the one she'd saved last year from that sludge villain, but even that memory was iffy and gave her absolutely no information about him. So where did that leave Veronica? Extremely worried. If he was someone that Sho-sho didn't know about, there was no telling what kind of drama he could cause.

Which is what lead to today's reconnaissance mission. She was going to do everything in her power to track this guy down and figure out exactly what was going on between them. If he was an ex-lover, fine, whatever, she'd deal with it. There was no way in hell that Veronica was going to let him get between her and Sho-sho.

The only problem was that she had absolutely no idea where to find this guy. Asking Shoto about him was out of the question, so maybe one of her friends would have some answers for her. From Shoto's stories, the two friends that Veronica needed to interrogate were Touya Mochizuki and Nanami Momozono. They seemed to be the two friends that she was closest to, which meant that if anyone knew about the mystery guy, it would be one of them.

Shoto squeezed Veronica's hand once more, drawing her out of her thoughts. "Let's get going. We wouldn't want to be late on our first day back."


As Veronica and Shoto approached the main entrance to UA, they were surprised to find a small group of students crowded around the gate. Veronica's brows furrowed in confusion at their colorful attire, not one of them wearing the typical grey and green UA blazer like Shoto.

"There she is!" Someone shouted from the crowd, and a girl with light brown hair pushed her way past the others, her black blazer becoming ruffled as she raced towards Veronica.

"OH MY GOD! Veronica! We missed you so-" a bright blue, semi-transparent wall formed in front of the brunette, causing her to fall back as she tried not to run into it. Veronica instinctively jumped forward to try and help, but Shoto held her back by their joined hands. Air swirled around the girl, her brown hair flying everywhere as she caught herself using her quirk.

The brunette spun in the air to face the crowd as another student wearing a matching black blazer emerged. "God damn it Touya! What the hell was that for?!"

The boy brushed his bright blue hair out of his face, flashing the girl a crooked smile, his dark blue eyes sparkling. "Now Nanami, wouldn't it be rude of you to throw yourself at a student who has no idea who you are?"

Her golden eyes narrowed in on Touya as he flicked his wrist, making the force field he'd created disappeared. "I hate when you're right." She lowered herself back to her feet as he came to stand beside her.

Well, at least Veronica knew where to find those two now. She glanced towards Shoto, who was eyeing the blue-haired boy defensively. Oh, what's this? Is Sho-sho... jealous? Veronica squeezed his hand lightly, drawing his attention back to her as she flashed him a smile, surprising him. She giggled slightly before turning back to the crowd.

"Hi," Veronica smiled, giving them a small wave. "Sorry that I don't really remember anyone right now, but I hope that you'll all take good care of me until my memories return."

Nanami's mouth hung open, her golden eyes wide in disbelief as Touya began to laugh. "Well, that's something I never thought I'd live to see," Touya thrust out his hand, taking Veronica's attitude change in stride. "I'm Mochizuki Touya, your vice prez and good friend. This fish over here," he motioned towards Nanami, who was still at a complete loss. "Well, this is the Student Council President, and the person currently beating me for the position of your best friend, Momozono Nanami."

Veronica started to laugh as she shook Touya's hand, despite her slight confusion at their reactions. "And I'm Unmei Veronica. It's nice to meet the two of you again!"

Shoto watched, surprised by Veronica's genuine enthusiasm and general happiness. Not that she was never happy, but she'd always been reluctant to share her true feelings with others. He smiled to himself. She's acting like she used to before she started at UA. Veronica was always quick to be on guard, still putting on the face that she had been taught to. Maybe... maybe losing her memories wasn't such a bad thing. Perhaps she'll remember how to be herself around others again.

"Oh, and this is my boyfriend, Todoroki Shoto," she tugged Shoto forward by their connected hands. "Though I suppose you both already know him, right Sho-sho?"

"Uh, yeah," Shoto rubbed the back of his neck with his free hand, suddenly uncomfortable. Just because you were able to talk to others easily again, didn't mean that he was.

"Well, it's good to officially meet you, buddy," Touya smiled at Shoto. He glanced towards Nanami, who was still gaping at them like she was witnessing the end of the world. "Hey, Nana," Touya elbowed her in the side, jerking her back down to Earth. "Say hi, you idiot."

"Oh, yeah, sorry," Nanami laughed nervously. "You're just not normally so... happy."

Veronica frowned at her best friend. "I'm not?" What kind of person am I?

"Nanami, what the hell!" Touya glared at her. "Are you trying to make the poor girl feel bad, or what? 'Cos if so, congratulations, you've succeeded."

"No, it's fine!" Veronica held her hands up in the air, trying to calm the suddenly tense atmosphere. "I'm sure this is weird for everyone. Sorry if I'm acting oddly."

"No, don't apologize." Touya shook his head. "You're not the one who's managed to shove her foot in her mouth."

Nanami sighed in defeat. "He's right." She turned her full attention towards Veronica, a smile forming on her face. "I'm over my shock now, and I'm sorry if I offended you."

"No worries," Veronica laughed slightly, putting everyone at ease.

"In that case," Nanami grabbed her by her arm. "We have lots of time before school starts, so let's go and re-introduce you to everyone!"


Veronica laughed as she walked towards the school building with Shoto, Nanami, and Touya. "Are you serious? I spent a whole week in your class before they realized that I was in the wrong one?"

"Yeah," Touya laughed along with her. "Turns out that the person who was supposed to be in my class was starting late, so they didn't realize that you were in the wrong one until he showed up for class on Monday."

Nanami rolled her eyes. "And here I was, worried that the girl I'd deemed my best friend was going to be stolen away by some blue-haired asshole."

"Hey!" Touya spun to face Nanami. "I'm pretty sure you were the one who'd always mysteriously appeared at our classroom door to steal her for lunch. How the hell did you expect me to be her best friend when you were always butting in!"

Veronica held her hand to her mouth, trying to hide her laughter as she watched the two of them bickering. She leaned against Shoto as they continued to walk, utterly content with the way the morning was turning out.

That is, until she spotted a certain ashen blond leaning against the school wall. He was looking down at his phone, headphone in his ears, completely oblivious to the world around him.

Veronica glanced towards Shoto, who was shaking his head at her two friends as they fought half-heartedly. Looking back towards the blond, Veronica sighed in relief at the fact that he hadn't noticed her. Oh, thank god. Now I only need to get past without him seeing, then go and find him later.

Veronica quickly readjusted herself so that she was turned slightly away, hopefully hidden from the blonde's gaze.

"Veronica?"

Her head snapped up, and she began to curse under her breath as crimson eyes focused in on her. Katsuki pushed away from the wall, pulling out his headphones and pocketing his cell as he approached their small group.

"Glad to see that you're okay," he came to stand a couple of feet in front of Veronica.

"What the hell do you want, Bakugo?" Shoto demanded as he took a step towards Katsuki, pushing Veronica behind himself as if to protect her. Oh, fuck... does Shoto know?

Katsuki narrowed his crimson eyes at Shoto. "I don't see how it's any of your business, half and half. I have every right to check up on one of my friends."

"Your friend?" Shoto glared at him. "Friends don't act impulsively and put their friends' lives in danger!" Shoto fumed, the air around him dropping a few degrees.

"Whoa, guys, calm down or-" Touya tried to step between the two of them, only to be blasted back by Katsuki.

"Stay out of this!" Katsuki yelled at him before facing Shoto again. "She's going to be a pro hero, saving people is her job description, bastard!"

"Wait, you're one of the kids that Veronica saved at the USJ, aren't you?" Nanami gasped.

Wait, what? Veronica looked past Shoto to the ashen blond, eyes wide. He's Shoto's classmate?! Oh my god, that means... the whole thing between us didn't happen until after Shoto and I started dating... She began to back away, shaking her head frantically. No, no, NO! Am I a bad person? Was I cheating on Shoto?

Shoto spun to face Veronica, worry overtaking his anger. "Veronica, what's wrong?" He took a step towards her, his hand reaching for her.

Tears started to stream down her face. Oh my god, I am. I'm such a terrible person! She pushed away Shoto's hand before bringing both of hers to her mouth, muffling a sob. How could I? With his classmate of all people! How could I-

"It's not just a fucking bruise, not if that fucking bitch hurt you."

"OI! It's my business if I want it to be my business."

"He's your boyfriend, right? He shouldn't be letting you get hurt."

"He's supposed to protect you."

"OI! Use your quirk and figure out what's going on! I'll make sure no one runs you over."

Veronica let loose a scream as excruciating pain seared through her head. She fell to her knees, her hands holding onto her head, trying to release some of the pressure as image after image flashed through her mind.

"Are you saying that you're afraid you'll end up doing something that you'll enjoy too much?"

"Be my girlfriend."

"Fine. We'll see what your boyfriend has to say when I tell him about your abusive guardian."

"You scared you're going to fall for me?"

"We're friends now, remember?"

"The name's Katsuki, babe. Forget it again, and I won't be so nice."

Shoto and Katsuki rushed to Veronica's side, Shoto grabbing onto her shoulders as he crouched down. Veronica winced as she watched him, his mouth moving as he spoke to her, but the sound failed to reach her ears. Her vision started to blur, the memories overtaking her brain as they rushed to the surface.

Veronica fought to take in oxygen as pain shot behind her eyes, the world around her fading to nothing. Shoto caught Veronica as she slumped forward, unconscious.

Chapter Text

"Who the hell said you could tag along?" Shoto snarled at Katsuki across Veronica's infirmary bed. "Can't you leave her alone for one second?"

They'd been quick to bring her to see Recovery Girl after she'd passed out. Katsuki had followed closely behind as Shoto carried Veronica to the school infirmary, much to Shoto's dismay.

"Why the hell do I need to leave her alone? She's my friend, you half and half bastard!" Katsuki gripped the railing of Veronica's bed, leaning over her slightly as he faced off with Shoto. "If anything, I'd say that I have more of a right to be here than you do."

"Excuse me?" Shoto gaped. "I don't know if you've noticed, but every time you show up, Veronica gets hurt." Ice started to frost across the railing that he held onto, the air in the room dropping a few degrees. "And what gives you the right to be here and not me? I'm her boyfriend for fucks sakes!"

"Enough!" Recovery Girl whacked both boys with her cane. She stood at the foot of Veronica's bed, tsking as she watched the scene unfold. "Behave, or neither of you will be allowed to visit her come lunch time."

"Fine," Shoto grumbled, reheating the room.

"OI! Old hag, what gives you the-" Katsuki fell silent at the death glare Recovery Girl shot him.

"Is she going to be okay?" Shoto turned to UA's healing hero, concern evident in his voice. Katsuki remained silent, the same question burning through his brain.

"Of course she will," Recovery Girl gave them both a reassuring smile. "She just became a bit overwhelmed. She'll need a few hours of rest since her mind is completely exhausted, but she'll recover quickly."

"Do you know what happened, exactly?" Shoto turned back to Veronica's sleeping form, moving his one hand to push some of her golden hair out of her face. Katsuki's eyes narrowed at the action, but he remained silent.

"Oh yes, she just had a few too many memories return all at once, it would seem. Nothing serious, but it was a bit too much for her to handle."

Both boys visibly relaxed. It wasn't ideal, but the small incident meant that her memories were returning faster than expected. It was one of the things Shoto had been worried about. He just hoped that this wouldn't set her back.

"I shouldn't have let her come to school today." Shoto sighed, remembering Veronica's determination to come to school.

"What?" Katsuki glared at his rival. "What do you mean, you shouldn't have let her? She's her own person, she can make her own decisions."

"I know that," Shoto snapped back. "Under normal circumstances, fine, but these aren't exactly normal circumstances. I should have made her stay at home."

Katsuki clenched his jaw. "OI! What the hell is wrong with you? She's not someone you can just control."

"No, but I'm supposed to look out for her."

"Yeah, and you're doing a fucking amazing job at that."

"What did you just say?" Shoto dug his nails into his palms. Any more of this and he was going to attack Katsuki. "Who the hell do you think you are?"

"I think I'm the only person looking out for her, that's who." Katsuki clenched his fists at his sides, mentally preparing for an attack. He'd had enough. All this bastard did was claim that he was protecting Veronica, yet he clearly had no idea what she really wanted or what she was going through. "You may have grown up with her, but you barely know her. You have no idea what happens behind closed doors."

"What the hell is that supposed to mean?" Steam started to swirl from Shoto's body, his anger reaching its peak.

"Why don't you ask your girlfriend?" Katsuki sneered.

"Shut the he-"

"GET OUT! Both of you!" Recovery Girl pointed towards the door. "And I better not see either of you back here until later. Classes will be starting shortly."

Katsuki and Shoto glared at each other, anger simmering as they reluctantly left Veronica's side. Recovery Girl watched them go, shaking her head. Boys, they never grow up. Always fighting to prove who's better.


"Veronica, glad to see that you're awake."

Veronica looked over to see Shoto entering the infirmary, a tray of food and a steaming drink in hand.

"Hey, Sho-sho." She smiled weakly at him from the mountain of pillows that she was propped up on. "Sorry for earlier."

Shoto shook his head as he walked towards her bed. "Don't worry about it. How are you feeling?" He placed the tray on the bedside table.

"Tired." She mouthed a small thank you as he handed her the steaming drink. Taking it into her hands, Veronica quickly noticed the distinct smell of vanilla. She smiled to herself. Of course he'd bring me my favorite.

"I could have guessed that," Shoto let out a small laugh. "Where's Recovery Girl?"

"She went to inform my teachers that I wouldn't be making it to any of my afternoon classes." Veronica sighed. Of course she'd be unable to train for the UA sports festival the one day she actually had to herself. The next two weeks she'd have to focus her time on helping the first years train.

Shoto nodded, grabbing the chair behind him and pulling it to her bed. She watched as he sat down, grabbing the bowl of hot soba off of the cafeteria tray. In a flash the steam disappeared, the outside of the bowl frosting over as he used his quirk to chill the contents.

"You and your cold soba," Veronica tsked, shaking her head. "It's just as good warm you know."

"That's your opinion," Shoto replied, unfazed as he began to eat his lunch.

Veronica let out a small laugh. She sat in silence as he ate, sipping away at her drink as she found herself lost in thought.

A lot of her memories had returned, thank goodness. Unfortunately, they were mainly memories of Katsuki. Figures. At least now she had a general idea of her first week at school, and about what exactly was going on between them. She also had a lot more memories of Shoto now as well. Which meant her evening of sexual invitations and the morning were a hell of a lot more embarrassing.

"If you're up to eating," Shoto's words pulled Veronica from her thoughts. "I grabbed some veggies and dip for you to eat, as well as a small bowl of berries."

"Thanks, Sho-sho," she smiled at him. "I'll probably eat them in a bit if you don't mind leaving them."

Shoto nodded. He quickly finished up his cold soba before setting the dishes back onto the tray. Veronica watched curiously as he directed his attention to her, his brows furrowing. He remained silent, his eyes searching her face.

"Shoto?" She fidgeted under his gaze, concern filling her. "What's wron-"

"Is there something you're not telling me?" Shoto's voice was calm, his grey and turquoise eyes burning into hers.

Veronica froze. What? What is he... Dread sunk like a pit into her stomach. What did Katsuki say to him? A million possibilities swirled through her mind, none of them good. Is this how Katsuki thinks he's going to win me over? By driving a wedge between Shoto and me? She did the only thing that she could think of.

"Sho-sho?" Veronica's voice rose, uncertain and confused. "Did I do something wrong?"

Shoto's calm demeanor instantly broke, his features softening, regret evident in his eyes. "No, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to upset you. Forget I said anything, okay?"

She nodded slowly, biting her tongue. She didn't like lying to Shoto, but it was the only to delay whatever conversation he wanted to have. At least, until she found Katsuki and beat the answers out of him. Bastard.

"Do you have any more memories now? Recovery Girl said that the reason you passed out this morning was that too many of your memories had returned at once." Shoto leaned forward in his seat, taking Veronica's hand into his. "Maybe you should reconsider coming back to school right away. I'm sure Principle Nezu would understand. I could bring you your school work and-"

"Sho-sho," she tugged gently at his hand, stopping his rambling. "I'm not going to delay school just because of what happened this morning." Veronica sighed. He always worries too much. "School's important, you know that. Besides, Recovery Girl said that she didn't think something like that would happen again."

She smiled reassuringly. "As far as my memories go, I still don't remember much. I just had a lot of things about school come back to me all at once. Mostly lessons and combat training." Veronica shrugged, trying to brush the whole thing off. The less he knew, the better. Besides, at this point, feigning amnesia was the only thing keeping him from asking a million more questions based on whatever nonsense Katsuki had fed him.

Shoto smiled weakly. "That makes sense." He glanced towards the clock that hung across the room. "I should go. Classes will be starting shortly."

"Okay. Have fun!" Veronica smiled as brightly as she could, swallowing her guilt.

Shoto let out a small laugh as he stood, leaning down to kiss her hair. "Rest up. I'll see you after class."

Veronica nodded, giving him one last wave as he disappeared out of the door to the infirmary. She let out the breath she'd been holding, setting her unfinished drink on the table beside her. It almost seemed too sweet all of a sudden, the aroma making her nauseous.

She leaned over the other side of her infirmary bed, grabbing her school bag and hoisting it into her lap. Veronica dug around for her phone, cursing when she didn't find it immediately. She grumbled to herself about needing to clean out the clutter and loose papers, relief filling her briefly when she finally found what she'd been looking for. Hopefully, Nana can help me with this mess. I'll definitely need it.

Chapter Text

"Katsuki Bakugo," Touya greeted Katsuki coldly as he entered the Homework Heroes club room.

Veronica looked up in surprise, her school work forgotten. Nanami and Touya had agreed to help her with today's class work once school had ended. It had given her enough time to rest and recover under Recovery Girls watch. It had also given Veronica plenty of time to set up a plan of action with Nana. She'd told her half of the story, explaining that apparently, Katsuki had said something to upset Shoto while Veronica was unconscious. She wanted to find out what and Nana had been more than willing to help.

So then why is Katsuki here now? Veronica frowned and glanced at Nanami, who was sitting beside her looking just as confused.

"What the hell is this?" Katsuki growled, holding up a pink slip of paper.

Veronica's eyes widened slightly as she recognized the pink slip. It was one handed out to students who violated the use of their quirks on school grounds.

"It's exactly what it looks like," Nanami sighed, flicking her wrist and using her quirk to shut the door behind Katsuki.

Katsuki shifted his glare to the Student Council President, completely ignoring Veronica. "And why the hell do I have it?"

"I'm going to say that's because it was handed to you by one of your teachers during class." Touya folded his arms across his chest as he leaned back against the meeting table.

Veronica shifted uncomfortably in her seat on the couch beside Nanami, glancing between the two, still confused.

"Don't play dumb with me," small explosions erupted from Katsuki's palms, destroying the pink slip. "It specifically says that it was issued by you."

Veronica frowned, looking to her blue-haired friend. "Touya, what's going on?"

He ignored her question, continuing to square off with Katsuki. "Need I remind you that you attempted to blast me away this morning using your quirk." Touya clenched his jaw, clearly not pleased with the memory. "If I hadn't used my quirk to shield myself, I could have very easily wound up severely injured."

Nanami sighed. "He's right. Using your quirk against a student outside of training and monitored simulations is against the rules. Add to the fact that you attacked not only another student, but the Vice President of an important part of UA's student body, and that pink slip is rightfully deserved."

Veronica's mouth formed a small 'o' of realization as she remembered the fight between Shoto and Katsuki that morning.

Katsuki's hands formed fists at his side, but he remained silent. This wasn't someone just trying to get back at him; he'd actually done something wrong. "So then what's the punishment?"

"That's-"

"There's no punishment," Veronica interrupted Touya, who glared at her.

"What do you mean, there's no punishment? He attacked-"

"He didn't attack you," Nanami chimed in. "It may not have been a defensive move, but he didn't attack you, Touya. You leapt into the middle of a fight, what did you expect was going to happen?" She rolled her eyes, making Veronica bite her lip to stop the laughter that threatened to erupt. "It's also his first offense, and no one was harmed, which means he gets a warning and that's all."

"But-"

"Touya," Nanami eyed him sharply. "Anything more would be unnecessary. You can argue all you want, but when it comes down to it, Veronica and I have the final say."

Touya's shoulders slumped in defeat. "Why do you always have to pull rank?"

"Why do you always have to act like a prepubescent teen?" Nana rolled her eyes. "You're practically an adult, Touya. Don't try to abuse your power for a personal vendetta."

"Personal vendetta?" Veronica looked to Nana, concerned. "Why would he have a vendetta against Katsuki?"

"God, you even use his first name," Touya scowled. "Are you just chummy with all of the first year guys?"

Veronica gaped at him. "What the... what the hell is that supposed to mean?!" She jumped up from the couch, anger rising. "What the hell is wrong with you, Touya? Why are you being so mean all of a sudden?"

"Oh, I'm being mean?" Touya laughed, the sound void of all humor. "How the hell is it that you remember some random first year, and not your own friends, huh? Do we really mean so little to you?"

Touya pushed off of the table, stalking towards Veronica. "I get it, really, I do. You've always acted so reserved, always keeping to yourself, but that's just it, isn't it? An act. You don't give a shit about any of us!"

Veronica's fists began to shake at her sides as her own anger and frustration began to choke her. That's not true! You're wrong! "I don't know what type of person you think I am, but you're wrong." Her voice shook, tears threatening to spill over. "You're one of my closest friends, Touya, and for your information, I didn't remember any of you this morning."

Everything felt... wrong. The air against her skin seemed almost painful, her breathing shaky as if she was attempting to breathe in razor blades. It was virtually like Veronica was disconnected from her body, but at the same time, she wasn't. Her senses were overloaded with everything around her, and yet, there was nothing. Her shaking intensified.

"You think that gives you a one-way pass?" Touya began to shout. "You barely talk to us about your life, then suddenly you're dating a first-year. You're talking in depth about your quirk and asking to be left alone with hotheads like him," he gestured towards Katsuki, whose own anger was barely contained. "It took months before you were comfortable enough to call me by my name, yet you're saying his like it's nothing, and it's barely been a week!"

"You act like a sweet, innocent little angel, but it's all a lie. You're just a fucking whor-"

There was a resounding smack as Katsuki leapt forward and punched Touya across his face, the force knocking him to the ground with a thud. "SHUT THE FUCK UP!"

Katsuki crouched down over Touya, grabbing him by the collar of his shirt, lifting him slightly up off of the ground. "You don't know shit about her!"

Nanami grabbed Veronica's arm, preventing her from rushing over to them. Veronica looked to Nanami as she shook her head, effectively telling Veronica to stay the hell out of it.

"And you know better?" Touya spat at Katsuki. "You're just as naive as her boyfriend. Whatever you think you have with her, she's just leading you on."

"OI! Shut the fuck up!" Katsuki screamed at him, explosions beginning to erupt from his fists. "Say anything more about her, and you're dead!"

"Get the hell off of me!" Touya kicked at Katsuki, using a bright blue force field to push against his chest at the same time.

Katsuki lost his grip on Touya as the force field hit him, sending him back a couple feet. He recovered quickly as the blue wall vanished, taking a fighting stance.

"Don't bother." Touya stood, turning to grab his things. "Consider this your warning." He raised his eyes to meet Katsuki's crimson ones, his demeanor suddenly cold. "For the quirk usage, and for her."

Katsuki dropped his fists as Touya skirted around him, opening the club room door and disappearing down the hall without another word.

Veronica dropped down to the couch, staring out the open door in pure shock and disbelief. What the hell just happened?!

Chapter Text

"Veronica, are you alright?" Nanami asked softly, touching her shoulder.

"Nana... what the hell just happened?" Veronica looked at her incredulously.

Nanami sighed. "Touya turned green, that's what happened."

"He...what?" Veronica shot her a confused look as Katsuki went to close the clubroom door.

"He was jealous, Veronica." Nanami shook her head. "And I must say, the color green does not look good on him."

"Does it look good on anyone?" Veronica snorted, still in shock.

"I can think of a few..." Nanami's eyes trailed over to Katsuki, who was now leaning back against the clubroom door, arms crossed as he pretended not to be listening. "Anyways, it doesn't matter. Just try to ignore him for now, he'll come around."

Veronica shook her head. "Nana, what was he even jealous about, really?" She tried to rake her brain for anything that could have upset him, at least from the memories she had.

"Geez, and I thought Zen was dense." Nana sighed. "He likes you, Veronica. He has since first-year."

Veronica stared at her blankly. "You're joking, right?" She started to laugh. "He's just a huge flirt, Nana. He's been like that forever. It doesn't mean anything."

"That's not... never mind." Nanami huffed. "Believe what you want, it doesn't matter."

Katsuki relaxed slightly, relieved that the blue-haired bastard clearly had no effect on Veronica, despite his obvious efforts. I don't need another fucking rival.

"So wait, if Touya really likes me, what the hell was he jealous about?"

"Ah, yeah... about that..." Nanami looked away, rubbing her neck as her cheeks flushed slightly in embarrassment. "We kind of saw you guys in the hall the other day. You know, during the time the alarm sounded..."

Veronica's mouth suddenly felt dry. "Shoto and I? But he already knew-"

"No, Veronica." Nanami glanced towards Katsuki. "You and... someone else."

"Oh," Veronica swallowed hard. "I see."

"Just spit it out already," Katsuki huffed. "You guys saw me protecting her from the crowd, then you saw half-and-half doing the same thing. So what?"

Nanami stared at Katsuki, eyes wide. "You were what?"

"Are you deaf?" Katsuki pushed off from the door, walking towards them. "She needed to use her quirk to figure out what the hell was going on. How the hell was she supposed to do that if people were constantly bumping into her? She can't focus if she has to watch over her own body."

"I see..." Nanami raised an eyebrow at Veronica. "So that wasn't what the Shoto argument was about?"

Veronica shook her head. "Not that I'm aware of."

"What the hell are talking about?" Katsuki interjected, his crimson eyes focusing in on Veronica.

"And that's my cue to leave..." Nanami quickly jumped up from her spot, gathering up her school books. "Call me if you need help with any of the course work, Veronica." Nanami gave her a quick wave before making her escape, closing the clubroom door behind herself.

Katsuki took the opportunity to take Nanami's seat beside Veronica on the couch, making her scramble back slightly. Katsuki raised an eyebrow but said nothing.

"So, the Shoto argument?" Katsuki demanded.

Veronica glared at him. "I'm pretty sure that I'm the one who should be asking that." She folded her arms across her chest. "What the hell did you say to Shoto?"

"You'll have to be more specific," Katsuki smirked. "He's my classmate, I say a lot of things to him."

Veronica narrowed her eyes. "Alright, smart ass. What the hell did you say to him to make him demand what I was supposedly hiding from him?" She hissed.

Katsuki's smirk grew. "I merely suggested that he didn't know everything that wasn't going on in your life." He leaned forward, his voice low. "And if you didn't know what about, that means that you have yet to tell him anything about us."

"There is no us," she spat.

"Maybe not yet, but you still haven't told him anything about what's happened between us." Katsuki leaned back against the couch, completely at ease. "Which means that either you're worried about what his reaction will be, or..." Katsuki smiled triumphantly. "Or you're interested in seeing where this is going."

"Not likely," Veronica deadpanned.

Katsuki shrugged. "Either way, you still aren't telling him."

"Fuck you!" She jumped to her feet. "I'm going to go and tell him right now!"

"What? You're going to tell him about how much you wanted to kiss me in the classroom that day?"

Veronica froze, partway past Katsuki's seated form. "You're wrong!" She spun to face him. "I didn't want to-"

Veronica let out a yelp of surprise as Katsuki quickly grabbed her arm, yanking her down onto his lap. He shifted her around so that she was straddling his legs, facing him as he looked down at her. "I'm wrong, am I?" Katsuki cocked a brow.

Veronica placed her hands on his chest, pushing away from him slightly. His fingers dug into her hips, holding her in place. "Of course you are," her bottom lip quivered as she fought off the sense of déjà vu. "Why the hell would I want to kiss you?"

"You tell me," his expression became serious, his crimson eyes boring into hers.

"Bakugo," her voice trembled as she tried to sound authoritative. "You need to-"

"Wrong name, babe," Katsuki smirked, quickly moving one hand from her waist to thrust it into her blonde hair.

Veronica gasped in surprise as he tugged lightly, tilting her head up to his as he smashed his lips against hers. The smell of cinnamon and smoke filled her nostrils, her blue eyes instinctively closing.

The kiss was rough, his soft lips working rhythmically against hers as her hands fell slack against his muscled chest. Katsuki groaned in approval as he used the hand still on Veronica's waist to pull her body closer to his, her soft curves pressing against his hard body.

It felt amazing, but it was so much different from how she'd imagined it to be with... Shoto! Veronica's mind snapped back to reality, her hands coming up hard to push against Katsuki.

His grip on her faltered as she took him by surprise, but he managed to grab onto her hips once more before she could escape. "What the hell? Why are you-"

The sound of skin hitting skin filled the clubroom as Veronica smacked him across the face with an open palm. The impact stung.

"That was my first kiss!" Veronica screamed at Katsuki, tears starting to stream down her face. "How could you!" She scrambled up and off of his lap, his hands falling away from her sides.

"I'm dating someone else and you still..." Her body shook, every emotion threatening to spill over as she clenched her fists at her sides. I need to get out of here!

"Veronica, I'm sorry, I didn't realize-"

"It shouldn't matter!" She yelled, finally turning on her heels and running from the clubroom.

Katsuki stared out the open door after her in shock. He swore under his breath. Fuck! I thought for sure they'd already kissed. How the hell am I supposed to fix this one?!

Chapter Text

Veronica couldn't remember how long she'd run for. She didn't even know where she was, or how far she'd gone. She'd just run, her need to escape outweighing her common sense. Wherever she was now, she'd come here instinctually.

Veronica was in some park she didn't recognize, sitting under a tree off in a corner far away from the main area. At some point it had started to rain, chasing away the children playing merrily on the playground.

She'd managed to prop herself up on some of the raised roots of the tree. Her body was shielded from the raindrops cascading down from above and the muddy water that now flooded the ground below. The day had grown dark, the air starting to cool as evening faded into night. Veronica didn't even know what time it was.

In her rush, she'd left all of her belongings in the clubroom at UA. Including her phone. So here she sat, her knees pressed to her chest as she curled up around herself and cried. She cried about everything; the abuse she'd gone through, the things that were expected of her, and about her lack of freedom.

Veronica cried about Shoto. She was so worried about what was expected of them, that it practically overshadowed their relationship. Even if they truly fell in love, it didn't even matter. All that mattered was that they got married and had kids. Even if they grew to hate each other in the process, no one cared.

She cried about the life she was living, like an actor following a strict script. Even her moments of happiness seemed fake. How could they be real? She was only doing what she was told, what she'd been forced to do since she was a child.

Veronica cried about Katsuki, about how he'd kissed her. Does it even matter? Even if she'd somehow started to like him, or eventually fell for him, it was pointless. She was a pawn, made to be manipulated and controlled. They'd even sacrificed her if the occasion called for it. As far as everyone was concerned, Veronica's marriage to Shoto was the end game.

She didn't know how long she stayed like that. By the time her eyes had dried, and her voice had become hoarse, Veronica had long since given up hope of going home. She was lost after all, both at this moment and in life.

Veronica closed her eyes, leaning her head down on her knees as she listened to the rain falling around her. The rhythmic pitter-patter felt calming after everything.

"I thought I'd find you here."

Veronica slowly raised her head, eyes widening in surprise as she looked at Shoto. She hadn't heard him coming. He held a clear umbrella over his head with one hand, a dark raincoat matching his own held in the other. His expression was serious, his lips forming a hard line. From the look in his eyes, Veronica could tell that he was relieved to see her. He closed the umbrella as he stepped under the shelter of the tree, tossing the spare raincoat over his shoulder.

"How'd you find me?" Veronica rasped, wincing at the pain in her throat.

Shoto crouched down in front of Veronica, his eyes searching her face. Her eyes were red and swollen from crying, her expression somber. "You don't remember this place, do you?" He asked softly.

Veronica looked past him to the park she'd seen the kids playing at earlier, shaking her head when no memories appeared.

Shoto sighed, standing as he held out his left hand. A small flame appeared in his palm. Veronica watched in confusion as he reached above her to trace a part of the tree that was now illuminated. She gasped in surprise as she saw the markings that had gone unnoticed earlier. Their initials were singed into the bark of the tree, a crudely drawn heart surrounding them.

"We did this, not long after we met," Shoto traced the design lovingly with his fingertips. "Though we haven't been here since you moved away."

Veronica swallowed hard, her heart leaping into her throat. That means that he did that before the incident with his mother; before he swore that he'd never use his fire quirk again.

"Shoto," she breathed. "How did you find me?"

"It was a lucky guess," he returned his attention to her. "When you didn't come home, I tried calling you. Your phone went straight to voicemail." Shoto crouched down so that he was eye level with her once more. "When I couldn't get ahold of you, I tried your friend Nanami. We both went looking for you after that. When we met up at the clubroom, we saw that all of your things were still there."

Veronica nodded, guilt sinking into her stomach. Not only did I make Shoto worry, but Nanami too. "I'm sorry..." she looked down at her feet, her eyes blurring once more with tears.

"It's alright, Veronica." Shoto reached out to rub her arm. "Just... just tell me what happened. Why did you disappear all of a sudden? And why are you out here?"

Shame and guilt began to eat away at Veronica, making it hard for her breath. "Shoto, I... the thing is..." she exhaled slowly, trying to collect her thoughts. "Shoto, Katsuki kissed me."

Shoto's hand on her arm froze. The temperature around them dropped drastically, making Veronica shiver uncontrollably.

Shoto swore under his breath, trying to keep his anger in check. Now wasn't the time. He'd take the issue up with Bakugo later. Right now the only thing that mattered was Veronica's safety and well being. She needed to go home, to warm up and have something to eat.

"Shhhh," Shoto soothed as he reached his hands up to wipe away her tears. "It's alright, Veronica, it's not your fault."

"But what if it is?" She cried.

Shoto took her face in his hands, tilting it up so that she was looking him in the eyes. "Did you ask him to kiss you?"

"No, but-"

"Then it's not your fault," Shoto stated calmly. "He had no right to kiss you."

"Shoto..." Veronica sniffled. "It... it was my first kiss."

"It's okay," Shoto pulled her forward into his arms. "Shhh, it's o-"

"No, it's not!" She wailed into his chest. "It was supposed to be you, Shoto... I wanted it to be you..."

Shoto kissed the top of her head, smiling to himself despite the situation. God, I love her. "Sweetheart," he gently pulled her head up and away from his chest.

Veronica looked up at him through tear filled eyes, confused. Did he just call me sweetheart? He brushed some of her hair away from her face before leaning down to press his forehead against hers.

Her breath hitched, his lips slowly moving to press against hers as she closed her eyes.

It was far from how she'd imagined her first kiss with Shoto to be. Veronica could only guess at how she looked in that moment; eyes swollen and puffy from crying, her blonde hair no doubt a mess. It wasn't even in an ideal setting, or due to a proper chain of events. Though, kissing under the tree that they'd etched their initials into as kids did seem pretty romantic.

It may not have been how she'd pictured, but the kiss itself was exactly how it should have been. Veronica clung to Shoto's chest as his soft lips moved against hers, stealing her breath away. His hands cupped her face lovingly, his multicolored bangs tickling her forehead.

Veronica leaned into Shoto, slowly wrapping her arms around his neck. He let out a grunt of surprise as she attempted to crawl into his lap in an effort to get closer, nearly pushing him back into the mud.

"Veronica," he rasped as he broke the kiss, his thumbs stroking her cheeks. "We should go home."

She nodded, dazed. Shoto's gaze went to her kiss-swollen lips, one of his thumbs trailing down to trace them.

It was like all of the tension from that morning had resurfaced. Veronica pressed her lips against the rough pad of his thumb, kissing lightly. Shoto let out a low groan of approval at the action, the temperature in the air around them rising.

Shoto's phone rang suddenly, making them both jump in surprise, breaking the moment. Shoto swore, cursing out whoever was calling under his breath.

"Hello?" He answered a little harshly as he stood, pulling Veronica up with him. He pulled the coat he'd brought for her from his shoulder and shoved it into her hands.

"Todoroki, thank god!" Nanami's voice came over the line, filled with worry. "I haven't been able to find Veronica yet. Have you had any luck?"

"Um, yeah," Shoto cleared his throat, feeling slightly guilty. "Yeah, I found her a few minutes ago. Sorry that I didn't call you."

"Oh thank goodness," Nanami sighed as relief washed over her. "Where is she? Is she alright?"

"She'll be fine." Shoto watched as Veronica put on the dark raincoat before she bent down to grab the umbrella he'd dropped. "I'm taking her home now."

"Okay, good. Get her to call me when thing have settled down."

"I will," Shoto nodded, hanging up as Veronica took his hand in hers.

"Let's go home."

Chapter Text

"Baku-bro, what are you doing out here?" Kirishima approached Katsuki, who was standing, panting heavily, in the middle of a public park.

Kirishima had gone out after dinner that night to grab some snacks from the convenience store near his house. He'd been surprised to hear explosions coming from a block over, and had gone to investigate.

As he got closer to Katsuki, he noticed the scorch marks on various trees, clearly a result of his explosions.

Katsuki turned on him. "What the hell do you want, shitty hair?" He lashed out, side swiping Kirishima with an explosion as he used his quirk to protect himself.

"Whoa, Bakugo, calm down." Kirishima held his hands up in surrender, his skin hardening in case he was attacked again. "What's going on?"

Katsuki's body shook, his anger barely contained. Things had been going so well! Why the hell did I have to fuck it up like that?!

He couldn't help it. Veronica had looked so damn good, straddling his lap as she fought him. God, I love the way she looks when she's angry. He couldn't help but kiss her.

Katsuki yelled in frustration, turning to punch a small tree. The explosion that erupted from his fist broke the tree in half, the top end falling to the ground.

"Bakugo, stop! You're going to-"

"I hurt her, shitty hair!" Katsuki yelled. "I fucking hurt her!"

Kirishima gaped at Katsuki as he spun to attack another tree, this one barely surviving his assault. "Bakugo, what are you talking about?"

Katsuki slumped forward against the blackened bark of the tree, exhausted. He'd been at it for hours, too mad at himself to stop. Despite the time, he still couldn't think of a way to fix what he'd done.

"You should have seen her face," Katsuki's voice shook, his body still trembling. "She was crying, shitty hair... She was crying because I kissed her."

"Wait, what?" Kirishima almost dropped the convenience store bag. "Who the hell did you kiss?"

"Who do you think?" Katsuki turned to glare at the redhead.

"Bro..." Kirishima shook his head. "You shouldn't have done that."

Katsuki's jaw clenched. "Are you going to stand here and tell me things I already know? Or are you going to be fucking useful for once?"

Kirishima rubbed the back of his neck, completely at a loss. "I don't know man, I don't think there's much that you can do. Just apologize and hope for the best."

Katsuki opened and closed his fists, fighting the urge to blast Kirishima once more. Is that really all I can do? There's got to be something else. "Let's go, shitty hair," Katsuki pushed off of the tree, walking past his classmate.

"Wait, Bakugo!" Kirishima rushed after him. "Go where?"


"Tag, you're it!" Veronica smacked Shoto's arm as she raced past him, her surprise attack perfectly executed as she jumped from the void.

"No fair!" He chased after her as fast as his little legs would carry him. Veronica laughed and dodged as he shot a small line of ice from his foot, trying to trap her.

It was how so many of their mornings would play out. Veronica would sneak to his house early in the morning, using her quirk to avoid waking her aunt. She'd wake up a sleepy Shoto, only to try sneaking out of his house with him. It was much more difficult trying to get him out than it was for her to sneak in using the void.

Some days they'd accidentally wake up his mother, who would send them back to bed, but today wasn't one of those days. They'd wandered to the small park a few blocks away, playing tag in the early morning light as the sun rose.

Veronica stopped under her favorite tree, allowing Shoto to catch up to her. She giggled as he crept closer, encircling the tree with his ice in an attempt to prevent her from escaping.

"No cheating." He laughed as she made a face at him.

"It's not cheating! It's my quirk," Veronica pouted. "It's not my fault if you can't keep up."

Shoto stuck his tongue out at her, his multicolored bangs falling into his face. Veronica started to laugh, falling to the base of the tree. Shoto smiled as he sat down beside her, reaching his hand out to melt the ice he'd created. He leaned over, resting his head on her shoulder.

"We'll always come and play here, right?" Shoto looked up at her, his bright grey and turquoise eyes filling with worry.

"Always," she smiled down at him.

"Promise?"

"Promise," she giggled.

"Can we do what the big kids did the other day?"

Veronica thought for a moment. They'd watched as a teenage couple had carved their names into a tree at one of the other parks. When they asked what they were doing, the older girl had explained that it was what people who are in love do, to show that they'll always be together.

Veronica turned to Shoto, nodding. He beamed back at her, his mouth forming a wide smile. He quickly jumped to his feet as she slowly stood. Shoto turned to the tree's grand trunk, raising his hand as a flame appeared at his fingertip. He started to burn his initials into the tree, taking a step back and smiling proudly once he'd finished.

Veronica stepped forward, scrunching her nose as she tried to think of a way to write her own initials below his.

"Here," Shoto giggled, raising his hand to her, a flame appearing once more. "You can use my finger."

"Okay." They laughed as she used his finger to trace her own initials. "There, all done." She stepped back, admiring their handy work.

"No," Shoto shook his head, raising his hand to the tree once more. Veronica watched as he stood up on tippy toes, shakily drawing out a rough heart shape like the older couple had. "Now it's done." He stepped back to stand beside her, smiling at the scorched markings.

"You promised, right?"

Veronica turned to look at Shoto, confused by the change in his voice. He stood taller now, his jaw sharper, his body covered in lean muscle. His eyes watched her, their color not nearly as bright, his expression somber.

"Sho-sho?"

"Even if someone else were to come along, you wouldn't leave me, right?"

Her heart sank into her stomach. "Shoto, who would-"

"Isn't it obvious?"

Veronica gasped in surprise at the new voice. She spun to see a pair of crimson eyes watching her movements. He leaned against their tree, his spiky ash blond hair shifting in the breeze. His arms were crossed, his biceps on full display in his black tank top.

Veronica swallowed hard, an unfamiliar feeling filling her as he pushed himself off of the tree. She jumped in surprise as he reached his hand out, an explosion erupting from his palm to destroy the markings she'd created with Shoto.

She felt Shoto's arms snake their way around her waist from behind. He leaned forward, resting his chin on top of her shoulder as he looked past her towards Katsuki. "Do you really think that you can steal her from me?"

Katsuki came to a stop a foot in front of them. "I kissed her first, didn't I?" He smirked.


Veronica gasped, bolting upright in bed. Her whole body shook, her breathing labored.

"Veronica?" Shoto reached out towards her in the dark. "Are you okay?"

"Yeah," she rasped out, desperately pulling air into her lungs. "Yeah, I just need a glass of water."

"Okay," Shoto mumbled, his arm returning to his side as he fell back asleep.

She took a second to compose herself, remembering that she'd already come home that evening with Shoto. He'd agreed to sleep in her bed that night, hoping to keep away any nightmares that could arise from the day's events.

Veronica slowly untangled herself from the covers, slipping out of her bed towards the hall, trying not to wake Shoto. She flicked on the light to the kitchen, grabbing the kettle off of the counter and bringing it to the sink to fill it. Water wasn't going to be enough.

A few minutes later Veronica was leaning against the countertop, a cup of chamomile tea in her hands. She raised the steaming mug to her face, breathing in the calming aromas as she closed her eyes.

What am I going to do? If that dream was any indication, the kiss between her and Katsuki was going to eat away at her until the issue was resolved. Veronica sighed. Why does he even like me anyways? She shook her head, confused. Does it even matter? I'm with Shoto after all.

Would your answer be different if you weren't? She nearly dropped her tea. Of course not! I have no reason to like Katsuki!

Don't you?

"Oh my god," Veronica growled in annoyance, turning to set her mug on the counter. It's Katsuki for fuck sakes! There's nothing likable about him. He's just a big bully.

But he's worried about you... He was concerned with how your aunt was treating you, remember?

Oh, shut up! Veronica yelled at herself. What do you know?

You know how good he felt on top of you... Her brain conjured up the images of her multiple arguments with Katsuki, many of them ending with the two of them in a compromising position. He even kissed you...

Veronica groaned in frustration, running a hand down her face. Yeah, well, Shoto kissed me too! And don't forget how good he looked in the bathroom this morning...

So then, which one do you want more?

Chapter Text

"Are you coming back to bed?"

Shoto's words jerked Veronica from her thoughts.

She looked up to see him standing in the kitchen doorway, his red and white hair a mess. He yawned, blinking a few times before walking towards her.

"Sorry, I couldn't sleep." Veronica reached for her mug of tea, surprised to find it was cold. She glanced at the clock above the sink, realizing that she'd be there for over an hour.

"I figured," Shoto let out a small laugh.

"I'm sorry if I woke you up," she turned to dump out her cold tea in the sink.

"It's fine." Shoto grabbed the electric kettle and plugged it back in. "You probably have a lot on your mind. That's why I stayed in bed until now."

"You've been awake this whole time?" Veronica asked incredulously, watching as he grabbed a mug for himself.

He nodded. "I woke up when you did, but I figured you needed some time to yourself. Was I right?"

"Uh, yeah..." she sighed.

"I know it must be hard-"

"Do you?" Veronica pushed away from the counter, going to sit down at the table. "Do you really know, Shoto?"

He remained silent, staring at her blankly. How could he know what she was going through, honestly?

Veronica sighed again. "Shoto, what would have happened if we'd never met?"

His brows furrowed. "What do you mean?"

She looked down at the table, aimlessly drawing circles on the wooden surface with her finger as she voiced her thoughts.

"What if... what if your father had said no, the day my aunt and I first came to visit?"

"Why would he have said no?"

"I don't know, Shoto, just... humor me."

"Okay," Shoto moved to take the seat across from her. "So what if he'd said no? It's not like it's matters. It doesn't change anything now."

"You're not getting it," Veronica huffed, frustrated. "What if he'd said no? Where would we be today? What if the first time you'd met me was that day on the field, during orientation?"

Shoto frowned, thinking. What is she talking about all of a sudden?

"Hell, even that's too generous," she shook her head. "Without your father's recommendation, there's no way I would have made it into UA."

"That's not true," Shoto reached his hand across the table to take hers. "You're a strong fighter, Veronica. You definitely would have been accepted."

"No," she pulled her hand from his. "I only became a strong fighter because of my training. If your father had said no, my aunt wouldn't have bothered with such things."

It was true. At the time, Endeavour was the only one looking for a child to pair off with his son. Someone with a powerful quirk, good for fighting. If he'd said no, Veronica wouldn't have been offered the path to become a hero. No, her aunt would have thrown her into even more of those classes she saw fit for 'a lady'. She would have waited until Veronica was older, probably about high school age, then would have started marketing her off to wealthy men as an obedient young bride.

How would her childhood have been, if she hadn't met Shoto?

"Veronica," Shoto caught her attention, his features softening. "It's not something you should be worrying about."

He really didn't understand. If they hadn't met... If her life had been laid out differently, what would have happened? Her aunt still would have made sure she went to UA. Even outside of their hero program, the school was revered as the best in the country.

Veronica would have been enrolled in the general course, so would she still have somehow met Shoto? Or even... Katsuki? Would she be dating someone else right now?

Touya had been hitting on her for years, and if Nanami had been telling the truth about him liking her... could she have been dating him instead? Veronica had never thought of anyone that way before. She hadn't even entertained the idea. She was promised to Shoto, after all.

What if she'd been single and Katsuki had kissed her? Would she be with him instead?

"I'm going for a walk." Veronica quickly stood, startling Shoto.

"Wait, Veronica," he jumped up, reaching for her... but she was already gone, disappearing into nothing as the void swallowed her up.

Shoto swore under his breath. Any chance he'd had at preventing her disappearance was gone.

It wasn't the first time Veronica had used the void as an escape. It was something she'd done often enough when they were younger, usually after an especially bad fight with her aunt. He'd been lucky if she returned after a few hours, but sometimes, it was days before Veronica came back to reality.

All he could do was wait.


"Hi, Mom."

Veronica crouched down in front of the well-worn grave, touching the cold stone. It wasn't the first time she'd come here, looking for answers. Even in death, her mother's presence was still calming.

The walk to get here had taken a long time. The sun had risen hours ago. The morning air nipped at the exposed skin of her arms. Veronica cursed under her breath, frustrated that she'd forgotten to leave a sweater or coat here the last time.

She visited her mother's grave often, unbeknownst to her aunt. She'd taken to walking the long journey in the void, quite often on short notice. Veronica had gotten smarter about it though, over the years.

She'd learned to leave a change of clothes and a spare credit card in the void beside her mother's grave. Her aunt never brought her to visit here, so anytime she came herself, Veronica would usually spend the day in the small town.

Tears began to stream down her face as she traced the wording on the grave. "Mom, I miss you so much." She sniffled, wiping away her own tears. "You'd know what to do. You always knew what to do."

Veronica hadn't had much time with her, but in her first 5 years of life, she'd learned a lot from her mother. She'd taught Veronica about love, about how she should always follow her heart. If she were here now, she'd know what to say to make everything better.

If she were here now, I wouldn't have this issue in the first place. The tears came faster, and Veronica's heart hurt. It was true. If her mother hadn't died, she wouldn't have gone to live with her aunt. She wouldn't have been forced to do all the things she had been, and she definitely wouldn't have been forced to marry anyone.

Veronica stood, wiping away her tears as she tried to compose herself. She touched the top of the grave once more, saying a silent goodbye before she turned to leave.

She walked down the quiet streets of the small town, looking through the windows of shops. Veronica had spent the first few years of her life here, and there was no doubt that she'd still be there if her mother were alive. She took note of a small clothing shop on the main street, making a mental note to stop and grab a sweater when it opened.

Veronica walked along until she found a small cafe. The neon sign flashed a deep blue, illuminating its name; Diana's. It was the place she'd gone to with her mother many times.

By the time she'd eaten a small breakfast and paid, the clothing store she'd been eyeing had opened. Veronica skirted around a couple other customers as she looked for a sweater to match her dark jeans and red tank top.

She missed it. City life didn't even compare to the calm that came with living in a small town. When her mother had passed, Veronica had hoped that her aunt would move to live with her in her childhood home. That dream, of course, had been dashed the second the deed was handed to her aunt.

She'd sold the place immediately, using the money for her long term investment; Veronica. It was how she'd been paying for her multitude of lessons. At least, until Endeavour entered the picture.

After she'd settled on a dark grey pullover, Veronica left to wander around the town she had once called home. Without even thinking about it, her feet had carried her to the most familiar place of all.

She found herself standing just outside of a white picket fence, watching as two children played in the front yard.

Veronica sighed. From the outside, her home didn't look like it'd changed much. The contrast of the red brick and white siding of the house still seemed enticing, and the deck looked like it needed some touching up.

Maybe Shoto and I could live here one day. It wouldn't be difficult. Shoto was going to be one of the top pro heroes after all. Money wouldn't be an issue, and there was no doubt that he wouldn't go to the ends of the Earth to make her happy.

"Hey, you're that girl, aren't you?"

Veronica jumped in surprise, looking down to the person who had pulled her from her thoughts. It was a little girl. The one she'd been watching playing in the yard, to be exact.

"What girl?" Veronica asked, confused.

"You know!" She jumped up and down, her light pink curls bouncing around. "The one who won the sports festival last year."

"Oh, yeah, I am," Veronica smiled down at her. "My names Unmei Veronica."

"I'm-"

"Yuki!"

Veronica looked up to see the boy the girl been playing with come running towards them.

"Yuki, you're not supposed to talk to strangers!" He scolded, tugging at her arm.

"But, Kota," the little girl whined. "It's the girl who can disappear. The one who won the sports festival."

"Really?" Kota turned to look up at Veronica through his dark blue bangs, eyes wide. "You're the one that beat my brother?"

"Yeah, I guess," Veronica laughed nervously. They couldn't have been any older than 6. "So, you two aren't brother and sister?"

"No. Kota is-"

"Yuki's my bride!" The boy wrapped his arms around his friend. "We're going to get married when we grow up, so if you think you can take her, you're wrong."

Veronica couldn't help but laugh. They look so adorable!

"I'm going to go to school to be a hero, just like my brother!"

"Me too!" Yuki chimed in, smiling.

"Yuki, Kota! Come in for some hot chocolate!"

Veronica looked up to see a woman who could only be Kota's mother. She pushed her dark blue hair behind her ear, smiling and waving when she noticed Veronica.

"Come and have hot chocolate with us!" Yuki tugged on her hand, trying to pull her through the fence.

"The gate is that way," Kota pointed off to the side, forcing Yuki to drop Veronica's hand before he pulled her away.

She smiled as Yuki watched, giving her a wink before she shifted into the void.

"Kota, look!" Yuki screamed in excitement as she watched Veronica disappear and reappear on the other side of the fence.

Veronica walked to the door with them, suddenly feeling out of place. "Um, sorry for the intrusion." She smiled sheepishly at the blue haired woman.

The woman shook her head. "Don't worry about it. It's not every day that you get to meet a celebrity, you know?"

"Oh, well, I wouldn't call myself a celebrity."

"Nonsense," she smiled, leading Veronica into her home. "My name's Mochizuki Haru, but please, call me Mochi.

"It's nice to meet you, Mochi," Veronica smiled as she took off her shoes, slipping on the house slippers that Mochi offered. "My name's Unmei Veronica."

"Oh, don't worry," she gave Veronica a knowing smile, leading her into their kitchen. "I know exactly who you are."

Wait, isn't her name the same as...

"Vero-chan!" Yuki sang. "Come and sit beside me!"

Veronica smiled at the pink haired girl, going to take the seat beside her. Kota took the position across from Yuki, glaring at Veronica for stealing away his friend's attention.

Veronica laughed to herself. He reminded her so much of Shoto when he was young. He'd always been so protective of Veronica and had been just as upset if anyone else stole her interest.

Mochi placed a mug of hot chocolate on the table in front of each of them. Yuki smiled brightly as she set down a bowl of mini marshmallows next.

Kota reached out a hand, a small bright blue forcefield appearing under a handful of marshmallows. He quickly waved his hand, the forcefield carrying the small pile towards Yuki's mug, dissipating as fast as it had appeared.

Yuki's hot chocolate splashed a bit as the marshmallows dropped into her mug. She giggled, clapping her hands and smiling at Kota, who beamed back at her happily.

Veronica gaped at his quirk. That's exactly like-

"Hey, Mom!" Veronica heard a familiar voice call as the front door was opened and closed. "They didn't have the brand of soy milk that you wanted at the convenience store, so I bought-"

Veronica turned to look at Touya, who had stopped abruptly in the doorway.

"Veronica?" He blinked rapidly as if he couldn't believe what he was seeing. "What the hell are you doing in my house?"

Chapter Text

"Touya!" Mochi scolded her eldest son. "That's no way to treat a guest!"

Veronica gaped at Touya, just as surprised as he was. Who'd have thought it was Touya's family that moved into my old home?

"Sorry," Touya rubbed his neck with his free hand. He walked over to his mother, handing her the soy milk he'd bought.

He eyed Veronica warily as he sat down beside his younger brother, unsure of how to proceed. "What are you doing so far away from the city?"

"I was visiting my mom," Veronica frowned. "What are you doing out here?"

He raised an eyebrow. "The same thing, clearly."

"No, I mean," she sighed. "I didn't realize that you lived so far away from UA."

"I don't," he stated coolly. "I'm living with my grandparents. I have since I started at UA. They live a lot closer than my parents."

"Not for long," Mochi smiled as she sat down at the end of the table, passing Touya a steaming mug. "We'll be moving to the big city come summer break. Then Touya can move back home."

"Wait a minute."

They all turned to look at Kota, who'd been eyeing Veronica steadily for the past few minutes. His eyes widened in realization. "You're the girl that Ni-chan's in love with!"

"Kota!" Touya cried, rushing to cover his brother's mouth as his cheeks flushed red.

Mochi laughed, barely able to contain her amusement as her son fought to keep his younger brother quiet.

Yuki's eyes widened, her pink curls flying every which way as she began to bounce up and down in her seat. "That means that Vero-chan is your bride, right Ni-chan? When are you going to get married?"

Veronica choked on air, her face turning red.

"Yuki!" Touya had become desperate at this point, surrounding the poor girl in a thick forcefield to block the sound.

"Touya, calm down," Mochi sipped her drink, her blue eyes smiling. "She was going to find out eventually. Leave the poor children be."

"Fine," Touya huffed, dropping the forcefield and his hand from Kota's mouth. He shifted in his seat, flustered.

"So, Veronica," Mochi drew her attention, helping her son compose himself. "You said you were here visiting your mother? How is she?"

Veronica's face fell, the happy moment gone. "She, um, she's not with us anymore."

Touya's mouth fell open, his eyes wide. While they'd been friends for years, Veronica had always kept most of her life to herself, meaning this was news to him.

"Oh my goodness, I'm so sorry sweetie," Mochi placed her hand on top of Veronica's, trying to convey her sympathy. "Has she been gone long?"

"Yeah," Veronica nodded, offering up a weak smile. "She passed when I was 5." She paused, glancing towards Touya. "This used to be our house actually."

Touya's blue eyes almost popped out of his skull. You've got to be fucking kidding me?! Do I really know so little about her?

"That would explain why you were standing outside," Mochi smiled. "You must have some very fond memories of this place."

"I do," Veronica smiled, slightly more genuine. "I was sad when my aunt sold the place and we moved to the city."

Mochi frowned. "Your father isn't around?"

"No," Veronica shook her head. "I never met my father. I don't really know anything about him."

"Oh, I'm sorry to hear that."

"It's okay," she shrugged. "It's not like I miss him or anything."

"I suppose," Mochi furrowed her brows, turning to look at her son. "Are you just going to sit there looking like a fish, or do you plan on joining this conversation anytime soon?"

"Uh, sorry," Touya rubbed a hand down his face, collecting his thoughts. "Do you want to go and watch a movie or something?"

"I want to watch a movie!" Yuki screamed, smiling from ear to ear.

"Me too!" Kota chimed in. Touya glared at both of them, clearly not happy with where this was going.

"Kota, Yuki," Mochi smiled at them. "Why don't you two come and watch a movie with me in the living room? We can make some popcorn to snack on."

"Yay!" Yuki jumped down from the table, quickly followed by Kota as Mochi ushered them into the other room.

"Come on," Touya stood, grabbing Veronica's hand and pulling her towards the stairs. "We can watch something in my room."

She followed him, looking around at the family portraits lining the familiar pastel-colored walls.

"Touya," Mochi called up the stairs after them as they entered a short hallway. "Door open."

"Yes, Mom," he called back down, rolling his eyes. Veronica gave him a confused look. "She thinks... never mind." His cheeks flushed a light pink once more.

"This is my room," he led her down the hall to the door at the end, opening it to reveal a small bedroom. "Make yourself at home."

Veronica took a step into the room, taking note of the dark colors. A single bed sat in one corner, along with a dresser. A desk was set against the opposite wall, a TV mounted across from the bed.

Touya pulled out the desk chair and sat down as Veronica settled down on the edge of his bed, looking around the room.

"So," she started hesitantly. "Your family seems nice."

Touya snorted. "Yeah, my brother and Yuki can be a handful though."

"Is Yuki here often?"

"Yeah," Touya sighed, leaning back in his chair. "My mom babysits her, so she's usually here on the weekends when I come home to visit."

"You come here every weekend?" Veronica raised an eyebrow. It was quite a commute from the city.

"I try to anyways," he shrugged. "They're family after all, and I miss them if I'm gone for too long." Veronica nodded, the room falling silent.

Touya sighed. "Look, I wanted to apologize for yesterday. What I said was out of line."

She stared at him blankly. What is he even... Veronica's eyes widened briefly as she remembered his fight with Katsuki in the club room. Oh my god! How'd I manage to forget that?!

She shook her head. "It's fine, Touya. Nanami explained after you left."

Touya let out a small laugh. "So you're telling me that Nanami gave me away before Kota blurted it out?"

"More or less," Veronica smiled. "I'm sorry that I didn't realize your feelings sooner."

He shrugged. "It's not your fault. I didn't exactly ask you out or voice my feelings, so it's not like you were expected to know."

"I guess," she frowned. "I am still sorry though."

"Like I said-"

"Touya, no," Veronica shook her head. "Not for that. What you said yesterday was true." She sucked in a breath, mentally preparing herself. "I haven't exactly been much of a friend to you guys, and I'm really sorry for that."

Touya rubbed the back of his neck, lost for words. "It's not like it's completely your fault. We gave up trying to know things about you not long after we met. I just don't think any of us knew how to deal with someone as closed off as you were."

"Heh, it must have really confused you guys when we met again yesterday."

"You're telling me," Touya laughed. "You were a completely different person!" He shook his head. "What the hell happened to you? You must not have always been closed off like that?"

Veronica paused, uncertain. Touya frowned. "Sorry. It's probably a pretty touchy subject so I won't pry."

"No, it's just..." she sighed. "It's not something I've really talked to anyone about before. Shoto never really brought it up after it happened. I don't think he wanted to-"

"Wait a second. Are you talking about your boyfriend, that Todoroki kid?"

"Oh, yeah," Veronica's cheeks grew slightly warm. "We've been friends since we were kids. Which, is another story in itself."

"Holy shit, no wonder!" Touya exclaimed. "I thought it was just me!" He started to laugh, relief washing over him. "God, no wonder you never showed any interest in anyone. That makes so much more sense."

"Um, yeah," her cheeks turned from pink to red. "I've never really thought of anyone that way besides Shoto."

"Got it," Touya smiled. "You can continue now."

Veronica nodded, taking a deep breath. "Anyways, as I was saying, there was this girl I was really good friends with growing up. Her name was Sara. We used to go to a private boarding school together." Touya raised an eyebrow at that but remained silent. "We both wanted to grow up to train and be heroes together."

Veronica smiled at the bittersweet memory. "Of course, we both wanted to go to UA. I got in on recommendation, but Sara... she didn't make the cut." Her face fell, tear starting to prick at her eyes.

"What happened?" Touya inquired softly.

"She hated me after that," Veronica laughed, the sound devoid of all humor. "She turned on me like I was the reason she didn't get into UA. I don't think she was even really my friend to begin with. She'd used me to try and get what she wanted, and when that didn't work out, she saw me as the enemy."

"Oh my god, Veronica, I'm so sorry."

She shook her head, blinking back tears as she looked at Touya. "It's not your fault. It's just been tough for me to get close to people since then. That's the main reason why I act the way I do."

"And it's completely justifiable," Touya frowned. "Now I feel even worse about what I said yesterday."

"Don't worry about it," Veronica offered him a weak smile. "Now you know."

He nodded. "Now I know." He thought for a moment. "So then, why are you here today all alone? Shouldn't Todoroki be with you?"

Veronica froze. Is this really something I should be getting into with Touya? She frowned. He's one of my closest friends, he may be able to help.

"It's... it's a really long story."

"I've got time," he smiled at her encouragingly.

"Okay."


"Holy shit..." Touya let out a low whistle after Veronica had finished telling him about her promised engagement to Shoto, and how Katsuki had kissed her yesterday. "I can't say I've ever been happier to be myself and not you."

"Gee, thanks Touya, that's really helpful," she rolled her eyes. "Any ideas?"

"Honestly, I'm even more at a loss than you are."

Great. "So, what do I do now then?"

Touya's brows furrowed as he thought. "What would you do if none of it mattered?"

"What do you mean?"

"Well, think about it," he leaned forward, propping himself up on his knees. "You've never been able to choose to do what you've wanted to before, right?" She nodded. "So what if that wasn't an issue? What would you do if it didn't matter? Forget about your engagement and your aunt and everything else. What would you do if you could do anything you wanted to, no consequences?"

Veronica thought for a moment. "Touya, I don't know. I think that's the problem, actually. I've spent so much of my life living by other people's rules and doing what everyone else wanted, that I just don't know what I genuinely want anymore." She sighed in frustration. "I mean, I like Shoto, I always have. I could very easily see myself having a bright future with him but..."

"But Bakugo's making you feel like you're missing something."

"Exactly!" She fell back onto the bed. "God, Touya, what the hell am I going to do?"

"I don't know, Veronica, but I'll tell you this; no matter what happens, Nanami and I will always be there to support you and help you through it."

"Thanks, Touya," she slowly sat back up, smiling at him. "I don't know what I'd do without you guys."

"Who knows," Touya shrugged, smiling.

"Oh, speaking of Nanami," Veronica laughed. "Please tell me that you've realized she has a thing for you."

"What?" Touya gaped at her. "Are you serious? Since when?!"

"Since first year, duh," Veronica rolled her eyes at him. "Man, and she thought I was dense."

"Holy shit, I'm a fucking asshole," Touya held his head in his hands. "I am such a fucking asshole!"

"Well, totally not the reaction I'd been expecting," she raised an eyebrow. "What's up?"

"Veronica, I've been asking her for love advice, mainly about you, since first year."

Her mouth formed a small o as that information sunk in. "So wait, she's actually been trying to help you, even though she's liked you for years?"

"I guess." Touya stared at his hands in shock for a few seconds before jumping to feet. "I've got to call her."

"Whoa! Wait a minute! Hold up!" Veronica jumped in front of him. "You're not supposed to know that, Touya. If Nanami finds out that I told you, she'll kill me."

"Well, that's your problem now, isn't it?" Touya smirked.

She glared at him. "Fine, but you didn't hear it from me, got it? At least try to pretend that you figured it out on your own."

"I'll try," he laughed. "But no promises."

Chapter Text

By the time Veronica got home, it was already late. Touya had offered to give her a ride back to the city, but she'd needed the time to be alone. Even though she was tired, and the trip would have been nice, the long walk had afforded her plenty of time to think.

Veronica entered her apartment, surprised to find the place dark. Did Shoto leave? She frowned. Well, it's not like he was supposed to stay, I guess.

She shifted out of the void, making her way to the kitchen as she noticed the light from the tv illuminating the living room. Veronica glanced around the corner to see Shoto passed out on the couch, the tv screen asking if he wanted to continue watching whatever show he'd put on.

She tiptoed past him, going to her bedroom to switch into a pair of fuzzy pajama pants and a cotton nightshirt. Once she'd changed, Veronica quietly made her way back out to the living room. She crouched down in front of the couch, watching Shoto's sleeping form.

He looks so cute! His red and white bangs were falling into his eyes, creating a fluffy mess over his face. He looked so serene, almost like an angel.

Veronica reached out a hand in awe, tracing along the edges of the scar surrounding his one eye. The skin felt rough under her fingertips, a contrast to the cool, pale skin of his cheek.

She froze as Shoto sighed in his sleep, shifting slightly. Veronica smiled to herself, continuing to trace her way down his cheek and along his sharpening jaw.

She hesitated briefly before moving her fingers to his lips. She absentmindedly ran her fingertips along the outer edges, admiring their soft pink hue.

Veronica bit her lip as she remembered how it had felt to kiss him, the way he'd gently held her face in his hands. God, it felt so good when he kissed me...

She jumped suddenly when his lips pressed back against the pads of her fingers. She quickly pulled her hand away, watching as he lazily blinked himself awake, smiling slightly.

"Welcome home," he rasped, eyes still half closed. "I thought that I wouldn't see you for a couple of days."

Veronica shook her head. "We have school in the morning, remember? I can't just skip out on all of my responsibilities."

Shoto nodded, slowly moving to sit up. "I take it that all of your memories are back now?"

"Yeah," she smiled weakly. "Come on, it's late. Let's go to bed."


The morning was spent mostly in silence. Shoto didn't want to pry about Veronica's time spent in the void, and she was having a hard time coming up with things to talk about.

They'd left early that morning to go to drop Shoto's things off at his house. With Veronica's memories back, there was no excuse for him to stay. The UA Sports festival was only a couple of weeks away, which meant that Endeavour wanted his son at home.

Veronica cringed at the image of the training Shoto was going to have to endure for the next few weeks.

"I guess I won't be seeing much of you for a while." Shoto sighed, taking her hand as they set off to UA.

"I guess not," Veronica frowned. "I know there's not much that I can do but... try to take it easy, okay?"

He let out a small laugh, the sound filled with despair. "You do remember who my father is, right?"

"I know, Shoto," she winced. "But at least I'll still get to see you during lunches. Plus, I'll be working with your class in the afternoon until the Sports Festival."

"The whole time?" Shoto frowned. "What about your own training, shouldn't you be-"

"I already have training sessions lined up with some of my classmates for after school." Veronica stopped, turning to look at him. "Plus, it's kind of my responsibility to help train you guys now. I've already won two of my sports festivals, it doesn't really matter if I don't place first in this one."

"But-"

"Unmei Veronica!"

Oh shit! Veronica panicked, grabbing onto Shoto as she recognized the person calling her name. "Shoto, I have to go!"

"Wait, what?" Shoto grabbed her arm as she turned to run. "Veronica, what's going on?"

"No time to explain!" She glanced over his shoulder, her heart practically beating out of her chest as she watched Nanami's approaching form. "I'll see you at lunch, okay?" Veronica leaned up to quickly kiss him on the cheek before yanking her arm out of his grasp and sprinting away.

"Veronica, you brat! Get back here!" Nanami charged past Shoto, who simply watched as Veronica jumped away from her friend, vanishing into the void. "God damn it, woman! I know where your classes are!"


"Do you often hide in the plants around the school?"

Veronica jumped, turning to glare at the student who'd spotted her outside of the cafeteria. "For your information- Oh, hi Ochaco," she smiled at the brown-haired first year. "Sorry, this probably looks... odd." She stepped out from behind the overgrown fern.

"Are you hiding from someone?" Uraraka looked at her quizzically.

"Actually, yeah," Veronica laughed nervously. "I kind of told my best friend's crush that she liked him, and now she's mad at me, so I'm trying to avoid her."

"Oh, that's not very good," Uraraka frowned. "Maybe you should go and apologize?"

"Normally I would, but it's not going to help any at this point." Veronica sighed. "I just have to wait until she's calmed down a bit."

"Hey, Uraraka! Who are you talking to?"

They turned to see a familiar green haired boy walking towards them, slightly obscured from Veronica's view due to the plant.

"Just me, Midoriya," Veronica peeked her head out from around the fern, startling him slightly.

"Oh, sorry, I didn't see you there Unmei."

"No worries," she smiled. "Have you seen Shoto?"

"Yeah, I think I saw him headed this way not too long ago," Midoriya brought his hand to his chin, thinking. "But I could be wrong. He looked like he was going to do something important..."

Something important? Veronica frowned. "Oh, okay. Maybe I'll text him then."

"President Unmei!"

They all turned to see a spiky red-haired student come running towards their small group.

"Kirishima, what's wrong?" Midoriya looked to his classmate, who had stopped in front of Veronica, slightly out of breath.

"Please, you have to come quick!" He huffed, looking frantic. "I think Bakugo and Todoroki are fighting."

Chapter Text

"Where?" Veronica grabbed the red head's shoulders, desperate. "Kirishima, where are they?"


"Bakugo."

Katsuki turned, looking to see Shoto following not far behind him. He figured that it was only a matter of time before Shoto approached him. "What do you want, half-and-half?"

"We need to talk." Shoto's face gave away nothing, his expression as stoic as ever.

"And why would I need to talk to you?" Katsuki continued to walk away.

"It's about-"

"I know who it's about, half-and-half."

Shoto clenched his jaw, following the ash blond. "Then you know that we need to talk." Shoto grabbed Katsuki by his shoulder. Ice frosted along his blazer as Shoto stopped him.

"Fine," Katsuki glared back at Shoto. "But not here."

Shoto glanced around at the other students who were whispering as they walked by. He dropped his hand from Katsuki, who brushed the ice off of his shoulder. "Then where?"


"Not many students pass by here on their way to lunch." Shoto followed Katsuki outside to a hidden corner, away from the main building. It was the same place he'd brought Deku before.

"Of course you'd know about a place like this," Shoto scoffed.

"Just be happy that I haven't brought your girlfriend here yet," Katsuki sneered.

Shoto's anger boiled over at Katsuki's words and their implied meaning. A line of ice shot across the ground towards Katsuki, who used a blast to maneuver himself into the air and away from the attack.

"I thought you said you wanted to talk, half-and-half." Katsuki took a fighting stance as he landed. "But I'll gladly fight you instead."

"If that's what it takes," Shoto prepared himself for a counter attack. "Once I beat you, Bakugo, you'd better leave Veronica alone."

"Ha! If you beat me," Katsuki grinned. "I'm the best, remember?" Katsuki launched himself forward using his quirk. "DIE!"

Shoto reached his hand out, shooting ice at Katsuki, trying to trap him. He missed as Katsuki dodged the ice with another blast. Shoto leapt towards Katsuki, trying to grab him as Katsuki shot off another set of explosions.

"Enough!"

Both of them collided with a thick wall of shimmering blue, their attacks held back.

"OI! What the fu-"

Touya surrounded Katsuki in a bright blue forcefield, cutting him off. He banged against the blue walls furiously, explosions erupting to no avail.

"What the hell do you think you're doing?" Touya turned on Shoto, happy that he'd been smart enough to follow the two of them.

Shoto straightened himself, moving his hand to melt the ice he'd created. "Nothing that you need to be concerned about."

"Oh, really?" Touya crosses his arms, clenching his jaw. "You do realize that you were using your quirk, on school grounds, against another student, right? That's absolutely my business. I don't care what's going on between the two of you but deal with it elsewhere. UA isn't a place to air your dirty laundry."

Shoto nodded, glancing towards Katsuki as Touya released him. "Fine."

Katsuki straightened himself, glaring at both of them. "This isn't over."

"It is," Touya spoke harshly. "If you're so desperate to fight each other, save it for the Sports Festival. You'll have plenty of opportunities then."

Shoto eyed Katsuki briefly before leaving to return to the school. They'd sort this out another time, off of school grounds.

"Whatever," Katsuki turned to stomp away, only to have another shimmering blue wall appear in his path. He spun to face Touya. "What?"

"You're not going to have any chance with her acting the way that you are."

Katsuki faltered. He hadn't expected that. "If you know so much, then what are you doing here? Shouldn't you be helping that half-and-half bastard?"

Touya shook his head. "Look, take it from someone who's known Veronica for years; she's not going to go for you if you keep acting like an ass."

Katsuki clenched his jaw, trying to reign in his anger. I can't attack him. It'll jeopardize my placement at UA. "Yeah, I'm sure you know her real well," Katsuki spat. "Guess what? You don't know anything. None of you do."

Touya frowned, crossing his arms. "And what do you think you know that I don't, huh?"

"Plenty. I bet you wouldn't be able to protect her even if you did."

Touya eyes widened slightly. "You know, don't you? About her abuse?"

Katsuki's hands fisted at his sides. "So you do know. Then, why the hell haven't you done anything about it?"

Touya shook his head, his blue eyes softening. "I didn't know until yesterday." He scratched the back of his head. "And she didn't exactly tell me. I kind of just put two and two together." His eyes narrowed. "Wait, why do you know?"

Katsuki turned away from Touya. "Because I've seen it happen."

"What? How?"

"Last year..." Katsuki ran a hand down his face, trying to compose himself before turning back to Touya. "After she saved me from that sludge villain, I went to go and see her in the hospital. I just happened to show up when her aunt was in the middle of..." Katsuki shook his head. "Look, it doesn't matter. She's clearly not going to do anything about it, so I guess there's not much that can be done at this point."

"There's something, we just haven't figured it out yet." Touya sighed. "Either way, give her some space. Since you kissed her, she's had a lot to work through."

"So? Isn't that good for me?"

Touya shook his head. "Fine, do what you want. I can guarantee it won't work though." Touya turned to leave, pausing. "I don't think she's told you this, but just so you know, they're engaged."

The air from Katsuki's lungs disappeared as if he'd been punched in the gut. "What?"

"Like I said, give her some space. The sports festival is in a couple of weeks. Focus on your training until then."

Chapter Text

"There you are!"

Shoto stumbled backwards as Veronica launched herself from the void and into his chest. He managed to regain his footing, preventing them from falling to the ground.

"I've been looking everywhere for you!" She wrapped her arms around him, burying her head in his chest as she inhaled his familiar pine scent. "I was so worried."

Shoto stood frozen for a moment before slowly wrapping his arms around her. "I'm sorry. I should have told you that I'd be late for lunch."

Veronica looked up at him, worry lining her face. "Shoto... Did you...?" She sucked in a nervous breath. "Did you go to confront Katsuki? Kirishima said that he saw the two of you going off somewhere."

His arms tightened around her. "So what if I did? He shouldn't be bothering you." Shoto leaned down to press his forehead against hers. "I don't like it."

Guilt began to claw its way into Veronica's stomach. "I know that what he did was wrong, but it's not up to you to deal with him. He's my friend, Shoto, despite what he did and..." she turned her head away from his, voice shaking. "And I should be the one to deal with him."

Shoto stayed silent for a moment, his one hand going to the back of her head and pulling it down to his chest. They stayed like that, Veronica listening to his slow and steady breathing, allowing it to calm her.

"Okay. I trust you, Veronica. Just let me know if there's anything I can do to help."

Tears pricked at her eyes. Why does he have to be so perfect?

"You haven't been caught by your friend yet, right?" Veronica nodded into his chest, swallowing her tears. "Then let's go and get some lunch. You still owe me an explanation for running off this morning. I'll do my best to help you avoid her until things are sorted out."

"Thank you, Sho-sho."


"Baku-bro!"

Katsuki turned to see his red haired classmate running towards him.

"Thank god, man! I thought you'd been hurt or something." Kirishima rubbed the back of his neck as he came to a stop beside Katsuki. "I guess there wasn't really any reason for me to worry."

"OI! Who do you think I am, Shitty-hair?" Katsuki snarled. "Of course I'm not hurt! It's that half-and-half bastard you should be worried about."

Kirishima ignored his friend's natural hostility. "Did you guys actually end up fighting then?"

"Tch, it doesn't matter." Katsuki reached into his pants pocket, pulling out a small square box. The box's simple yet delicate black design seemed out of place in his hand. He threw it at Kirishima's chest. "Get rid of this! I don't need it anymore."

"Wait, Bakugo!" Kirishima frantically reached for the box, catching it before it hit the floor. "What about-"

"Forget it, Shitty-hair!" He yelled, storming off towards the cafeteria. There was no point in trying to make things up to her if there was no chance for him.


"Alright class, listen up!" Mr. Aizawa drew Class 1-A's attention. "For the next two weeks, we'll be focusing on your training for the UA Sports Festival. You'll be training individually, preparing for whatever they may throw at you during the tournament."

Veronica shifted awkwardly beside Mr. Aizawa, eyeing the students in their Hero costumes. She'd managed to avoid Nanami for the remainder of lunch, briefly explaining to Shoto that she'd spilled the beans about Nana's crush on Touya.

Nanami had been busy with her duties as the student body president, which meant that lunch had progressed relatively smoothly. Veronica had taken her usual seat with Shoto and their small group of friends, chatting along happily with Ochaco.

At one point she'd noticed Touya, who merrily smiled and waved as she glared daggers at him. Bastard. So much for not telling Nana how you found out.

"Miss Unmei and I will be monitoring you and offering insights and some combat training to those who need it. If there are any questions, please feel free to approach either one of us."

"I look forward to working with everyone," Veronica smiled, watching as they all went their separate ways to train.

She slowly made her rounds, giving combat tips and techniques to those who needed it most.

"Watch your fighting stance," Veronica tapped Midoriya's foot with her own. "You want to make sure that your weight it fairly well distributed so that it's harder to knock you off balance."

"Okay," he nodded, adjusting his footing. "Anything else?"

Veronica shook her head. "No, I think you're doing pretty well otherwise. Just work on trying to control your quirk, and make sure that you don't get so caught up in analyzing your opponent that you forget to move."

"Thanks," Midoriya smiled. "I'll try my best."

"I don't doubt it," she smiled back, slowly continuing on her way.

A series of massive explosions erupted not too far away from Veronica, making her wince. Great, how am I going to deal with him? She sucked in a breath, mentally preparing herself as she started off in Katsuki's direction. Don't worry about it for now. You're in class, you need to focus on the task at hand.

Veronica skirted around a couple of trees, making her way into the simulated forest clearing that Katsuki was training in. His back was turned to her, his form heaving as he took a running start towards a large tree. He leapt forward, using an explosion to propel himself up and over an invisible attacker. He landed low to the ground, spinning with his one leg outstretched as if he was sweeping his enemy off his feet.

"He doesn't look like he needs any help," Veronica muttered to herself, turning to leave.

"If you didn't want to be seen, you should have used your quirk."

She stopped, slowly turning to face him once more. "Who said I was trying to stay hidden?"

Katsuki continued on his imaginary rampage, combating invisible foes. He didn't even glance in her direction.

"Are you going to help me train, or what?"

He seems oddly... composed. Veronica frowned, tilting her head to the side as she watched him. "You seem to be fairly well versed in one on one combat. You have classmates that need my help much more than you do."

He remained silent, his focus now set on a small cluster of trees. He raised a hand, setting off a massive explosion that broke them in half and charred the remaining trunks.

Fine, whatever, be that way. Veronica sighed, turning to leave once more.

"Why didn't you tell me that you were engaged?"

Ice shot through her veins, dread sinking into her stomach. Veronica looked to Katsuki, surprised to find that he was now watching her. "Because it doesn't matter."

His face contorted in annoyance. "What do you mean, it doesn't matter?" He stalked towards her, crimson eyes alight with fire. "We're friends, aren't we? Why wouldn't you tell me something like that?"

Veronica clenched her jaw, hands fisting at her sides as she turned to confront him. "Friends? Friends don't go around kissing their friends just for the hell of it! I have a fucking boyfriend for Christ sakes!"

Katsuki grabbed onto her wrists, taking Veronica by surprise as he roughly pulled her to him. "I get that your pissed but-"

"Of course I'm pissed!" She attempted to yank herself from his hold. "We don't know each other, we're barely friends, and yet you still thought it was a brilliant idea to kiss me. What the hell is wrong with you?"

Veronica's wrists began to burn as she felt his grip on them tighten. "Fine. I kissed you before I should have and I'm sorry about that. Now how long have you and that half-and-half bastard been engaged?"

"Since we were kids." She glared up at him. "Now let me go."

Katsuki ignored her. "So, what? Is it like some stupid childhood promise or something?"

Veronica snorted. "It's called an arranged marriage, dumbass. Look it up."

His grip loosened, and she pulled herself from his hold, taking a step back. "You're part of a quirk marriage? So, it wasn't your choice then." Katsuki visibly relaxed.

Veronica glared at him. "Maybe not then, but it is now. I have every intention of marrying Shoto."

His crimson eyes narrowed. "I don't see a ring on your finger."

"That's because we just started dating," she ground out. "And we're in high school. It wouldn't be appropriate for us to be officially engaged."

"And quirk marriages aren't legal, nor appropriate for children, yet here we are."

"Whatever." Veronica spun to leave. "I don't have time for this nonsense. I have other students to help train."

Katsuki let her go, and her footsteps slowed as she exited the tree line. Did he... did he say he kissed me before he should have? What the hell is that supposed to mean?!

"Well, that was interesting," Kirishima shook his head as he entered Katsuki's training area.

Katsuki huffed in irritation. "How long have you been there, Shitty-hair?"

"Long enough," Kirishima shrugged but couldn't keep a smile from creeping onto his face as he approached his friend. "I take it you'll be wanting this back then?" He held up the black box that Katsuki had throw at him earlier.

Katsuki snatched the box from him, quickly pocketing it. "I hope you're right about this, Shitty-hair," he glared at the redhead. "If not, I'll hunt you down and kill you." Katsuki raised his hand and set off a small series of explosions to emphasize his point.

"Yeah, Bro, don't worry!" Kirishima smiled wide, showing off his sharp teeth. "Girls love stuff like that."

Chapter Text

"Unmei Veronica!"

Veronica gasped in surprise as Nanami launched herself at Veronica, tackling her to the floor of the Homework Heroes clubroom.

"Nana, wait, I can explain!" Veronica yelped as Nana sat on top of her, beginning to tickle her sides. Veronica's one weakness.

"Oh yeah? Then start explaining." Nanami continued her torture as Veronica tried to wriggle away.

"Wait- Nana- can't- breath-" she gasped between fits of laughter.

"Fine." Nanami dropped her hands from Veronica's sides, moving off of her. She stood as Veronica struggled for air, holding a hand out to help Veronica to her feet once she'd recovered.

"Alright," Nana moved to sit on the clubroom couch. "Explain yourself."

"You monster," Veronica glared at Nanami as she sat down on the opposite end of the couch.

"What was that?" She raised her hands towards Veronica, wriggling her fingers. "You don't have a good explanation and need to be tickled again?"

Veronica swatted her hands away. "Alright you tyrant, calm down. He was going to find out at some point, I just hurried that along."

"Oh gee, thank you soooo much," Nana rolled her eyes. "I'd have told him myself, eventually."

"Says the one who was apparently giving him love advice about everyone else." Veronica shook her head. "What the hell is wrong with you Nana?"

"Well, it's not like I could just confess my feelings to him when all he could talk about was you." She sighed. "I'm sure he's pretty hurt over the fact that he's not the one making you doubt your relationship with Todoroki."

"It's not like I'm doing it on purpose," Veronica rubbed a hand down her face. "It's just because the bastard kissed me!"

"So then, what about now?"

"What do you mean?" Veronica raised an eyebrow at her.

"I mean, what about Touya? Now that you're starting to think for yourself, what do you think of him?"

Veronica gaped at her. "Nanami, Touya's my friend and you-"

"Don't worry about me," she shook her head. "More than anything, I want both of you to be happy. I don't want you to dismiss Touya just because I like him. It's not fair to either of you. You can't control who you like."

"But-"

"No buts," Nanami narrowed her eyes at Veronica. "Give him a fair chance, Veronica. He deserves that much at least."

"Yeah, I guess you're right..." Veronica sighed. "He is charming, and I've always felt fairly at ease around him."

"Don't forget the fact that he's hot as fuck," Nanami wriggled her eyebrows.

Veronica rolled her eyes at her best friend. "Yes, okay, I'll admit that he is pretty good looking too."

"Glad to know you think that."

Veronica's face flushed red as she turned to see Touya standing in the doorway, his blue eyes sparkling with mischief as he smirked.

"And that's my cue to leave," Nanami hummed, jumping up from the couch. "Have fun you two!" She winked at Veronica before walking past Touya, closing the door as he went to take her spot on the couch.

"Oh god," Veronica buried her face in her hands. "She set me up, didn't she?"

Touya chuckled. "This is Nana we're talking about. She doesn't know how to stay out of other people's love lives."

"If she ever decides that she doesn't want to be a hero anymore, we should push her into the matchmaking profession."

"Oh god," Touya made a face. "I couldn't imagine people paying her to meddle with their love lives. I'd feel so sorry for them."

"You and me both," Veronica laughed.

An awkward silence slowly began to stretch between them as Veronica's laughter died down.

"So..." Touya scratched the back of his neck. "Are we going to talk about this... about what Nana said about you giving me a fair chance?"

Veronica sucked in a breath. "Touya, I... I don't know."

He nodded slowly. "I understand. I didn't really expect you to just suddenly decide to be with me anyways."

"No, Touya, that's not it." She took a deep breath. "I'm starting to think that maybe I shouldn't be dating anyone right now. I mean, I always thought that I liked Shoto, but maybe that was just because I thought I was expected to."

Touya frowned, moving to sit right beside Veronica as he took her hands in his. "Veronica, I'm sorry, but that's just ridiculous. I mean, if you don't want to date anyone, that's fine, but you can't just assume that you liked someone because it was expected of you."

"Why not?" She looked at him, slightly distressed. "I never thought about anyone else that way because I knew that I'd be forced to marry Shoto. The only reason I've realized that now is because Katsuki kissed me, and-"

Touya's soft lips were suddenly against hers, his hands moving to cup her face as she gasped in surprise. Veronica automatically closed her eyes, allowing him to kiss her into silence.

He broke the kiss, leaning his forehead against hers as she looked at him with wide eyes. "Touya, what-"

"Just hear me out," he rasped. "I like you, Veronica, I have for years. You're amazing, and beautiful and kind and so so strong. I know that I may not be able to give you everything that he can right now, but I want to try. I want to make you happy and protect you. I want to be by your side and support you in everything that you do. So please... please give me a chance to at least try."

"Touya... I don't know what to say."

"Then just say yes."

Veronica looked up into his big, blue, pleading eyes. He had always been there for her, always done whatever he could to support her. He was sweet and gentle and always knew how to make her smile and laugh when she needed it most, even if he didn't know the exact reasons why. Why did I never notice him before?

"Okay."

 

Chapter Text

"Alright, Touya," Veronica sighed as she flopped down onto the couch in the Homework Heroes club room. "How bad is the damage?"

Touya looked up from his seat at the table, pushing his blue hair out of his face. "It's really not that bad. You're worrying obsessively over nothing."

"Oh really?" Veronica turned her head to glare at him. "Then why the hell did I have to make a getaway this morning when Nanami spotted me?"

Touya bit back laughter. "Probably because you told me all of your woes before her. She is your best friend, remember?"

"Ugh, you are so not helpful." She sat up on the couch, rubbing a hand down her face. "But seriously, what exactly did you tell her?"

Touya shrugged. "I just repeated our conversation about your Bakugo dilemma, then casually asked her to grab a cup of coffee with me sometime after school this week."

"Wait, what?" Veronica leapt to her feet, eyes wide. "Are you telling me that you asked Nana on a date? But what about-"

"Caught you!" Nanami launched herself through the clubroom doorway, tackling Veronica back onto the couch using her quirk.

"Wait! Nanami!" Veronica gasped in surprise as Nana enveloped her in a massive hug, slowly squeezing the life out of her. "I can't breath!"

"Good." Nanami tightened her hold on Veronica as she began to struggle. "That's what you get for keeping everything from me!"

"Touya, help!" Veronica reached out a shaking hand in his direction.

He shook his head, smiling as he stood and began to pack up his things. "You brought this upon yourself. I'll leave you two to work it out."

"Traitor!" Veronica yelled as he left the clubroom laughing. "Nana, seriously, I need to breathe," she tugged at Nanami's arms.

"Ugh, fine," Nana huffed, untangling herself from Veronica as they both sat up. "But you and I need to have a serious heart to heart, woman."

"Yeah, I know," Veronica laughed lightly, rubbing the back of her neck. Nanami flicked her wrist, and the clubroom door swung shut.

"So," she turned her attention towards Veronica. "First things first, Miss 'nothing is going on'... what are you going to do about Bakugo?"

"Of course you'd start there," Veronica groaned.

"Obviously," Nanami raised an eyebrow. "I heard that there was an incident between him and Todoroki at lunch?"

"Yeah, Shoto- Wait a minute!" Veronica's head snapped towards Nanami. "Who the hell did you hear that from?"

"Touya, who else?" Nana rolled her eyes.

"How did he... Oh god," Veronica hung her head in her hands. "Please don't tell me that they got caught fighting on school grounds."

"I could, but it'd be a lie," Nanami hummed. "Touya said he saw them headed off somewhere and thought it would be a good idea to follow them, all things considered. I'd imagine that he didn't let it get too far before he stepped in though."

Veronica sighed in defeat. "I don't know how I thought nothing like that had actually happened. Maybe I was too optimistic when I found Shoto, and he didn't say anything about it."

"Boys, can't live with them, can't live without them," Nana shrugged.

"I'm starting to think that I can. Wanna run away with me and become lesbians?"

Nanami covered her mouth with her hand as she started to laugh. "Don't change the subject. Is there anything else that's happened since lunch that I should know about?"

"Yeah, I guess," Veronica sighed. "Katsuki confronted me about my engagement to Shoto. I realize now that Touya was probably the one who told him since I can't imagine Shoto would say something about it.

"Of course he wouldn't. You guys aren't actually engaged."

Veronica narrowed her eyes at Nanami. "Yes, we are."

"No," Nana rolled her eyes. "He hasn't proposed, and you haven't accepted. Just because your aunt promised you to him doesn't mean anything. We live in modern times, Veronica. No one can force you to get married."

"I still have every intention of marrying Shoto though," she stuck her tongue out at Nanami.

"That doesn't make you two engaged," Nanami shook her head. "And if you're so sure that you're going to marry him, why does the Bakugo dilemma still exist?" Veronica gaped at her.

"Geez, you're really slow, aren't you," Nana shook her head in disbelief. "You like him you idiot."

"I do not!" Veronica jumped to her feet. "There is absolutely nothing to like about that, that..." she flailed her arms around widely, face turning red. "That self-centered, arrogant bastard!"

"Oh man," Nanami shook with laughter. "You've got it bad."

"God, I hate you," Veronica glared at her friend.

"Okay, fine," she chuckled. "If you can look me in the eye, and with 100 percent certainty, tell me that you aren't questioning everything you've ever thought about your relationship with your betrothed, then I'll drop it."

"Oh, god..." Veronica slowly sunk back down to the couch.

"I told you," Nana gave her a knowing smile.

"I thought it was just because he kissed me," she buried her head in her hands. "Nana, why?! What do I do?"

Nanami reached a hand over to rub Veronica's back comfortingly. "I don't know, Veronica. What I do know is that despite that, you still like Todoroki very much. I know it's not just about the quirk marriage for you two, which is why you're dating and not going straight to marriage after graduation."

Veronica slumped against her best friend's side. "So then, how do I go about this? Is it even possible to like two people at once?"

Nanami chuckled. "Well clearly, otherwise you wouldn't be in this mess. Look, I'd say your best option is to just leave things as they are for now and try not to worry about it. You like Todoroki, you have since you were kids, so stay with him. There's nothing that says you can't be friends with Bakugo. You may find that once you get to know him better that you actually don't like him as anything more than a friend."

"You're right," Veronica sighed.

"Of course I am," Nanami thumped her chest. "I'm a little insulted that you'd think otherwise."

Veronica rolled her eyes. "Alright, Touya. Don't let it go to your head."

Nanami made a face. "I so do not sound like him."

"You definitely do," Veronica giggled.

"Whatever," Nanami playfully pushed her. "Now on a more important note..."

"More important?" She raised an eyebrow.

"Yes," Nanami's expression became serious. "We need to have a conversation about your current living situation."

"My living situation?" Veronica frowned. "Nana, what are you talking about."

Nanami straightened, taking a deep breath in preparation. "We need to talk about your abusive aunt."

Chapter Text

Veronica sat frozen, eyes wide as Nanami's words sunk in. "Nanami, what are you talking about?"

"Veronica..." Nana gave her a stern look. "Don't lie to me. Touya and I put two and two together after you talked to him. The injuries that you always claimed were from training, the way you keep yourself closed off from everyone... Not to mention the way you react every time you hear people yelling at each other and fighting... You've been abused."

Veronica frantically shook her head, trying to deny Nana's claims. "Nanami, I'm not-"

Nanami grabbed her face, forcing Veronica to look at her. Her voice was gentle, her golden eyes softening as she continued. "Veronica, it's okay. You're not in trouble, alright? My moms a psychiatrist, remember? I know the signs. I'm just upset that I didn't notice it sooner."

Tears pricked at Veronica's blue eyes. "Nana, I'm sorry, I just-" Her body shook as she began to sob, tears streaming down her face.

"Shhhh, it's okay," Nanami pulled Veronica into her chest. "It's okay, Veronica. It's not your fault, okay? You have nothing to be sorry for. You're a victim sweetie, none of this is your fault."

Nana continued to hold Veronica as she cried, whispering comforting words as Veronica began to acknowledge the fact that she was indeed a victim.

"Do you feel a little better?" Nanami rubbed Veronica's back as her cries began to quiet after a few minutes. She nodded into her chest, sniffling. "Okay."

She gently pushed Veronica away from her chest, brushing her golden hair out of her face as she wiped away Veronica's tears. She glanced to the side, reaching out a hand as she used her quirk to pull a Kleenex box to Veronica from across the room. Veronica mouthed a small thank you as she took the box, pulling out a few tissues to wipe her nose and clean herself up.

"Touya told me that your mom died when you were little?"

"Yeah," Veronica sniffled again. "When I was 5."

"And your aunt has had custody of you since then?" She nodded. Nanami sighed. "What an evil woman. She's been abusing you since you were a kid, right?"

"Since she became my guardian." Veronica let out a bitter laugh. "The second I walked into her home, she threw me to the ground and beat me. She told me that I was no better than the whore she thought my mother was, and that I was absolutely worthless."

Nanami looked at Veronica in pure horror. "Oh my god... I've heard stories, but I could never imagine anyone would actually do that to a child. I'm so sorry, Veronica."

"It's not your fault," she shook her head. "I learned at a young age that the world was a cruel place and that there's not much that any of us can do about it."

Nanami took Veronica's hands into her own, trying to comfort her. "What about now? Why don't you just leave? You're almost done high school, you're almost an adult. You can come and live with me and my mom."

Veronica sighed in defeat. "There's no point anymore. She's rarely home, and it'll only be a few more years before Shoto's done school and we get married. She'll get her money from Endeavour, and I'll never have to see her again."

Nanami's hands tightened around Veronica's. "Wait, are you saying that she's selling you? Like you're being bought as a bride? That's why you have an arranged marriage?"

Veronica nodded, and Nanami clenched her jaw in anger. "Are you fucking kidding me?!" Veronica winced as Nanami yelled, and she quickly forced herself to calm down. "And Todoroki is fine with having a paid for wife?"

"He doesn't know..."

"Of course not," Nanami huffed. "And knowing you, he doesn't know about your abuse either, does he?"

Veronica nodded. "Fucking great..." she muttered to herself. "Why wouldn't you tell him something like that?"

"Because I'm scared, Nanami," her voice shook. "I'm afraid that he'll look at me like I'm damaged goods. I don't want him to look at me any differently, and I don't want him to think that I'm with him just because I'm terrified of my aunt. I really like him, Nana," Veronica sniffed. "Besides, he has his own problems to worry about. His father isn't exactly the loving type either. It's not as bad, but he's abused to some degree as well. I don't want to burden him with my problems too."

"Oh, Veronica," Nanami hugged her once more. "I'm so sorry that you have to go through this all. I wish we'd known sooner."

"It's okay," Veronica hugged her back. "You know now."

"That's right," she pulled away, giving Veronica a small smile. "Which means that from now on, things are going to change. There's going to be none of this waiting till it's over bullshit. You're taking your life into your own hands now, okay?"

"Nana, I can't-"

"Were you not listening," she crossed her arms over her chest. "No more, you hear me? I won't say anything to anyone, and I won't tell Todoroki, but you can't be in that house anymore. Is your aunt there now?"

"No. She's away on vacation and won't be back until after the UA Sports Festival."

"Okay, then here's the deal. If you don't want to report her, that's fine, I won't force you, but you are not allowed to be living at home when she's there. If she's not there often, then that shouldn't be an issue. You can come and stay with either Touya or me while she's at home if you still don't want to tell your boyfriend."

"But-"

"That wasn't a request, Veronica." Nanami narrowed her eyes. "Touya and I will give you until your aunt comes home to decide what you're going to do. That gives you two weeks to think things over and figure out how you're going to deal with everything. Now," she leaned forward. "You can fight me on this if you want, but if you haven't made an acceptable decision and arrangements for yourself by then, I'm reporting this to the school."

Veronica's eyes widened. If the school board found out about her abuse, there'd be hell to pay. "Okay. I'll think about it."

"Good," Nanami smiled. "Now let's go and get some coffee and sweets. Everyone needs chocolate after a good cry."

"Hey, speaking of coffee..." Veronica eyed her best friend. "What's going on with you and Touya?"

Chapter Text

"Alright, woman," Veronica giggled at Nanami from across the small table. "I have my cappuccino, and I have my chocolate cake, now spill!"

"Okay, okay, calm down," Nanami smiled as she took a sip of her coffee. "Let me at least eat some of my cake first."

"Ugh, fine," Veronica huffed as Nanami dug into her slice of strawberry shortcake.

They'd decided on going to the small café that Ochaco had recommended to Veronica earlier that week. Veronica had poked and prodded the whole way there, but Nanami had insisted on keeping her mouth shut on the topic of Touya until they'd arrived.

Veronica picked up her fork, eyeing Nanami impatiently as she took a bite of her chocolate fudge cake. Oh my god... Veronica hummed contently as the chocolatey goodness melted in her mouth. I'll have to text Ochaco and thank her for the fantastic café recommendation. This cake is heavenly!

"So, you're seriously not mad about me telling Touya?" Veronica asked between mouthfuls of cake.

"Nope," Nanami smiled. "It's kind of hard for me to be mad at you when it resulted in him asking me out on a date."

"I knew it!" Veronica practically screamed, drawing way too much attention to herself in the small café. "Whoops," her cheeks flushed in embarrassment as Nana laughed at her.

"Alright, calm down. I might have to limit your sugar otherwise."

Veronica growled at Nanami and quickly pulled her plate away from her best friend's fork as she reached across the table. "Not a chance, woman. This is mine. Get your own if you want some."

"Awe, but Veronica," she whined. "Best friends are supposed to share!"

"I don't exactly see you offering up any of your shortcake," Veronica narrowed her eyes at Nana's almost empty plate.

Nanami shrugged. "It was worth a shot."

"Anyways," Veronica sipped her drink. "You were saying?"

"Oh, right," Nanami smiled. "So I guess after Touya got home Sunday night, he called me right away to talk about you. Once we'd finished that conversation, he told me that you'd mentioned I had a thing for him."

Veronica smacked her forehead and groaned. "He didn't even try to hide the fact that I told him, did he?"

"Nope," she laughed. "And since you'd told him, I couldn't exactly deny it. He basically apologized for being so oblivious all these years, and I told him that I'd come to accept that us being a thing was something that probably wasn't going to happen."

Veronica rolled her eyes. "And exactly how many times did I tell you that you should just confess?"

Nanami stuck her tongue out at Veronica. "Zip it. He was always talking about you, what was I supposed to say? 'Hey Touya, I know that you have a major crush on Veronica, but I like you so you should go out with me instead.' Yeah, right, he'd have totally been receptive to that."

"You never know," Veronica giggled.

"Anyways," Nanami rolled her eyes. "He said that he'd never really thought of me that way, but he was wondering if I'd want to give dating a shot anyways."

"What?" Veronica's eyes widened. "Just like that?"

"I guess," she shrugged. "He said that now that he knew there was absolutely no chance for him with you, if I was okay with it, he wanted to try. We discussed it for a while, and we're not officially dating or anything, but we're going to try going on a couple of dates and see how things go. He said that he owed it to me to at least give 'us' a fair shot."

"It's about damn time," Veronica sighed. "I'd better be the first to know when you get engaged."

Nanami choked on her coffee. "Veronica! It's one coffee date, just to try things out, nothing more. Besides," she took another sip of her drink. "You're his best friend. He's obviously going to be bringing you along to pick out the ring."

"Ha, I knew it!" Veronica laughed. "You're trying so hard to act like it's not a big deal, but you're practically shaking with excitement."

"And nervousness," she huffed. "God, we've known each other for years, yet here I am stressing out about what to wear to one silly little coffee date."

"I can only imagine," Veronica smiled. "I'm sure I'll be the same when Shoto and I go on our first date, and I've known him since I was 7."

"No way," Nanami gaped at her. "You guys haven't been on a date yet?!"

Veronica shook her head. "We went out for dinner to celebrate when he got accepted into UA, but we've never been on an official date or anything."

"Damn, woman, get with the program!"

"Said the pot to the kettle..."

"What was that?"

"Nothing." Veronica sipped away at her cappuccino as Nanami glared at her.

"OI! You two are awfully noisy."

Veronica practically jumped out of her seat as a familiar ashen blond appeared out of nowhere. "K-Katsuki? When did you get here?"

"Tch, I've been here the whole time, idiot. I've been sitting over there with Shitty-hair," he gestured over his shoulder.

Veronica looked past him to see Kirishima smiling and waving. "Oh."

"Obviously. I can't believe you didn't see them," Nanami rolled her eyes.

"You've known this whole time?!" Veronica hissed at her. "Why didn't you tell me?"

Nanami shrugged. "I kind of wanted to see what would happen." She smiled mischievously as Veronica glared at her. "I'm leaving now. Consider your drink and cake paid for."

Veronica watched in disbelief as Nanami went to pay the bill before disappearing out of the door to the café. Katsuki took her now empty seat, and Veronica noticed Kirishima get up to pay and leave not far behind her best friend.

"Well that was rude," Veronica narrowed her eyes at Katsuki. "Shouldn't you at least say goodbye to your friends before you abandon them?"

"He knew that I wasn't going back over when I left," he shrugged, flagging down the waitress. "Do you want anything else?"

"Oh, um, no thanks, I'm fine."

"Another cinnamon tea and a slice of spice cake for me, and a slice of strawberry shortcake for her." The waitress nodded before gathering up the empty dishes and disappearing into the back.

"I said I didn't want anything." Veronica eyed him suspiciously.

"I'm pretty sure you accused your friend of not sharing hers earlier. Or did I mishear?"

"No, you didn't," Veronica grumbled. "It's not nice to listen in on other people's conversations you know?"

"Don't talk so loud next time then."

"What do you want, Katsuki?" Veronica leaned back in her chair. "I'm not in the mood to argue with you right now."

"Then don't argue." She glared at him, but he ignored it. "Look, I already said I was sorry. I know that what I did was out of line, but I meant what I said about us being friends."

"And why should I trust you?"

"Because I won't do it again, damn it!" His crimson eyes watched her closely. "I won't do anything anymore unless you want me to."

"Fine, whatever," Veronica huffed. "It's not like you're going to give me much of a choice on the matter anyway."

"You got that right," Katsuki shot her a wicked grin. Veronica cursed under her breath. God damn bastard! Don't smile at me like that.

Veronica thanked the waitress as she returned with their order, happy for the momentary distraction. She wasted no time before diving into the new slice of cake, humming contently as each bite tasted like a soft, strawberry sugar cloud.

My god, she's adorable. Katsuki watched as Veronica happily devoured the slice of strawberry shortcake as he drank his cinnamon tea. Once she'd finished, he smiled as he saw her eyeing up his slice of spice cake.

"Do you want to try some of mine too?"

Veronica bit her lip, her cheeks flushing slightly in embarrassment. "No, it's yours."

"It's fine, I've already had a piece," Katsuki lied, smiling as she pursed her lips.

"I've eaten two pieces already, I probably shouldn't have anymore."

"Spice cake has a lot less sugar than regular cakes if that's what you're worried about." Veronica pouted, her blue eyes displaying the internal battle she was having. "It tastes pretty good..."

"Okay, I guess..." Her eyes lit up as Katsuki pushed the small plate across the table to her.

So cute! He smiled. "You like sweet things?"

"Yeah," Veronica gave him a small smile before taking a bite of his cake. "I wasn't really allowed to have them growing up, so I've developed a major sweet tooth over the past couple of years." She let out a small laugh. "Shoto used to always sneak me candies and things during parties while my aunt wasn't looking."

Katsuki frowned at the mention of her boyfriend but made sure to tuck away the information for later use. "I got you something."

Veronica's eyes widened in surprise. "You what?" Her curiosity grew as Katsuki pulled a small black box from his pocket and placed it on the table in front of her. "What is this?"

"Tch, it's an apology, idiot." Katsuki looked away, the tips of his ears turning red as he rubbed the back of his neck. "And a token of our friendship."

"A token of our..." she eyed the simple black box suspiciously.

"Just open it already," Katsuki snapped, making her jump.

"Alright, I will," Veronica grabbed the box off of the table. "You don't have to bite my head off."

Katsuki narrowed his eyes at her but remained silent as she pulled the lid off of the small box. She blinked a couple of times, almost as if she didn't believe what she was seeing.

"Katsuki, it's..." Veronica let out a small laugh of disbelief, pulling the little charm bracelet out of the box and holding it up to better inspect it. The actual bracelet was a simple thin metal chain, decorated with variously colored clip on star charms that shimmered as she moved them.

"It's beautiful, Katsuki. Thank you." Katsuki felt the air disappear from his lungs as she smiled at him, her bright blue eyes sparkling. "Can you help me put it on?"

All Katsuki could do was nod as she handed him the bracelet and held out her right arm. He quickly unclasped the silver chain before securing it around Veronica's wrist, trying his best not to have his fingers linger for too long on her soft skin.

"It's supposed to be a friendship bracelet, right?" She smiled again, oblivious to his internal struggle.

"Uh, yeah," Katsuki cleared his throat. "Shitty-hair said that friends usually get matching ones, but I thought that would be stupid."

"It's fine," Veronica giggled. "I love it anyways."

Katsuki couldn't help the smile that spread across his face as he watched Veronica twist her wrist every which way, admiring his gift. Guess you were right, Shitty-hair. Girls really do love these kinds of things.

Chapter Text

 


"Whoa..." Shoto's grey and turquoise eyes sparkled as he watched the small goldfish swim around in their tank. Their golden and orange scales glinted in the afternoon sunlight, not unlike his multicolored face paint.

"Do you think we can catch one?" Veronica asked her friend, excitement filling her voice.

"Why don't we go and play some games first?" They looked up at Shoto's mother as she smiled down at them. "We can come back and try to catch some fish later."

"Okay!" They both chimed happily in unison.

Mrs. Todoroki had decided to bring them to a festival that was taking place across the city. It was an All Might/ Heroes themed event, which meant that there were many North American carnival games decorating the area as well. She thought that they could use some time together, away from the expectations of Shoto's father and Veronica's aunt.

Shoto took Veronica's hand as they followed his mother, eyes wandering the different vendors and games. They'd already been to get their faces painted that day.

Shoto had opted for blue, green and silver painted scales, making him look like a cute little dragon. His mother had bought him some matching dragon wings from a costume stall, as well as a pair of bright, glittery fairy ones for Veronica. She'd had the vendor paint her face with sparkling pink, purple and gold swirls, and butterflies.

Veronica had also used some of her weekly allowance to buy a sparkling tiara and a crown, proudly announced that for today she was the fairy princess, and Shoto was her dragon prince.

"Look! It's All Might!" Shoto's hand dropped from Veronica's as he bounced up and down in excitement.

Veronica turned to see a giant man ducking through the crowd, away from her sight. She turned to see Shoto pouting as his favorite hero disappeared.

"Don't worry, Dragon Prince," she smiled at him. "I'll go and get him."

Before Mrs. Todoroki could react, Veronica had disappeared into the void, determined to go and bring the worlds greatest hero to see her friend. She passed through people, chasing after the enormous man as fast as her little legs could carry her.

By the time Veronica caught up to him and merged back into reality, she was far from Shoto and his mother.

"All Might! All Might!" She ran up to the man, shouting to get his attention.

He turned towards her, and her face fell. He wasn't All Might. The man was instead a fair worker, someone who was dressed up in an All Might costume, handing out balloons to the fairgoers.

Veronica's heart sank into her stomach as she turned from the man, looking for Shoto. Tears filled her eyes as she realized that he was nowhere to be seen.

She frantically ran about, calling for her friend as she searched for a familiar face. After a few minutes, Veronica collapsed to the ground against a random vendor's stall. She curled up, tucking her knees under her chin as she sobbed, her back against the wall.

"Here! Stop crying."

Veronica raised her head to see a stick covered in brightly colored cotton candy being shoved at her.

"Ah, what...?"

"You're crying because you wanted some, right?"

The fluffy candy was moved to the side, revealing an ash blond boy. His face was covered in bright orange and black striped face paint, a toy sword hanging from his hip. A pair of dark orange cat ears adorned his head. His crimson eyes watched Veronica intently, his mouth forming a scowl.

"You're a big kid, right? You shouldn't be crying about candy."

Veronica shook her head, slightly stunned. She sniffled, pushing the candy away before wiping her tears. "No. I don't want any candy."

The boy scrunched up his nose, confused. "Then why are you crying in front of the cotton candy stall?"

She made a face, turning her head to see which stall she'd been sitting against. "I didn't know it was a candy stall."

"So then why are you crying?" He huffed in annoyance, tossing the candy away.

"I can't find my friend." Veronica's lips quivered as tears welled up in her eyes once more. "I'm lost."

"Hey, don't cry!" The boy crouched down in front of her, eyes wide with panic. "Big kids aren't supposed to cry."

Big kid? "I'm only 7," she hiccuped. "I'm not a big, big kid."

His ruby eyes seemed to soften. "You're only 2 years older than me." He stood once more, holding out his hand towards Veronica. "Come on! I'll help you find your friend!" He smiled brightly.

Her crying stopped, eyes going wide in surprise. "You... why are you helping me?"

"Because that's what a hero's supposed to do, duh!" He grinned, placing his hands on his hips. "I'm going to be the number one hero, just like All Might!"

Veronica couldn't help but smile at his enthusiasm. "Okay." She took his hand, allowing him to help pull her to her feet. "What's your-"

"Katsuki Bakugo! Where the hell did you go?!" They were startled by a woman's harsh yelling.

"Tch, old hag," Katsuki scowled as he turned to face his approaching mother.

"There you are!" She huffed, coming to a stop in front of him as she crossed her arms across her chest. "I turn around for one second, and you disappear without a trace. You need to behave, young man!" She grabbed onto his ear, giving it a good tug. "When I say to stay with me, I mean it!"

Katsuki's grip on Veronica's hand tightened as he stuck his tongue out at his mom. She narrowed her eyes at him before turning her attention to Veronica. "And who do we have here?"

Veronica's back instantly straightened as she held her head up, her years of training to be in the spotlight kicking into gear. She gave the woman a polite smile, her voice soft yet strong as she spoke.

"I'm Unmei Veronica. It's a pleasure to meet you."

Katsuki made a face at Veronica's sudden change in demeanor. He didn't like it, not one bit. She looked too fake, too much like she was trying to be something she wasn't.

Mrs. Bakugo chuckled at the face Katsuki made. "Oh, Katsukitty," she purred. "Do you not want to share your new friend?"

Veronica giggled at the nickname. "Katsukitty?" She bit her lip to stop herself from laughing as Katsuki's face turned red.

"I'm not a cat, old hag! I'm a tiger!"

His mother waved her hand dismissively, smiling brightly at his anger.

"She's lost," Katsuki stated flatly, ignoring his mother and refusing to let go of Veronica's hand when she gave it a tug. "I'm going to help her find her friend."

"Oh, are you now?" His mother raised an eyebrow. "I think it would be best if we take her to the help center. They should be able to get ahold of her parents there."

Katsuki practically growled. "No! I told her I'd help her, so that's what I'm going to do!"

Before his mother could react, Katsuki was pulling Veronica away by their linked hands, forcing her to run after him as he sped through the crowds. She tried to resist, but he was much stronger than her.

"Wait!" Veronica yelled at him, forcing him to come to a halt in front of a carnival ride as she dug her heels into the ground.

"What?!" He snapped at her, clearly frustrated.

"Where are we going? Shouldn't we go back to your mom?" She looked around, realizing that they'd traveled a fair distance once more.

"The old hag? No!" He dropped her hand, crossing his arms. "Do you want my help or not?"

"But your mom-"

"No!" He stamped his foot on the ground, clenching his fists as small sparks popped around them. "A hero doesn't need help to save the damsel in distress."

Veronica stared at him, at a complete loss for words. "Fine," she huffed. There wasn't much that she could do. After all, he'd already dragged her away from one of the only adults she could trust. "But I'm not a damsel in distress."


"So, Katsukitty," Veronica hummed as she followed behind him. They'd been wandering around for a while now, searching through crowds of people for Shoto. "Do you know where you're going?"

"OI! I'm not Katsukitty, so stop calling me that!" He spun on her, clenching his fists. "And of course I know where I'm going!"

Veronica giggled. "Then what should I call you?" She looked from his orange and black striped face to the wooden sword on his hip. "Oh! I know!" She smiled, clapping her hands. "You could be my tiger warrior!"

"You're what?" Katsuki narrowed his crimson eyes.

"Yeah!" Veronica giggled again. "I'm the Fairy Princess, and I'm looking for the Dragon Prince. You're the noble Tiger Warrior who's come along to help me find my way."

Veronica held her hand up, imagining that she was holding a sword. "We fight side by side, through all the bad guys," she swung her arm around, mimicking a sword fight, "until we've finished our great quest and come out victorious!"

Katsuki grinned as Veronica held up her imaginary sword and cheered. "That sounds awesome! Of course, we'll beat them all!" He pulled out his wooden sword, holding it high in the air. "To find the Dragon Prince! I, the amazing Tiger Warrior, will not rest until I've helped the Fairy Princess find her friend."

They both fell down in fits of laughter. It felt nice to act like herself for once. Their laughter soon died down as their stomachs started to growl.

"Let's go get some food," Katsuki sat up, reaching over to straighten Veronica's fairy wings as she followed suit.

He spotted a food vendor not far from them and grabbed her hand as she stood, leading her towards it.

As they approached the stall, Katsuki realized with sinking dread that he didn't have any money. He brought Veronica to a halt just before they reached the stand.

She looked over at him, surprised to find him staring at his feet, jaw clenched. "What's wrong?"

He jumped slightly, startled by her question. His hand tightened around hers and he refused to look up at her. "I don't have any money," he ground out.

Veronica sighed, giving his hand a tug. He turned his head to look at her, and she gave him a reassuring smile. "I have money."

She let go of his hand, reaching to her side to pull her small over the shoulder purse to her front. Veronica opened the clasp, pulling out a large handful of bills.

Katsuki's eyes widened. He quickly covered her hands with his, looking about frantically. "Are you crazy?! Where did you get all of that money?"

Veronica looked at him, confused. "What do you mean? This is my weekly allowance."

"You're weekly allowance?!" Katsuki half screeched. He leaned close to her face, whispering in a harsh tone. "Are you rich or something?"

"I don't think so." She scrunched up her nose. She'd never really thought about it before. Veronica herself didn't necessarily have a lot of money, but Shoto's family did. Endeavour provided her with a weekly allowance, just like he did Shoto, so it hadn't occurred to her that others didn't have the same.

"Does it matter?" Veronica frowned, worried that her new friend wasn't going to like her because of it.

Katsuki thought for a moment, before shaking his head. "No, you're a princess. They're supposed to be rich." He smiled brightly, taking his hands away from hers. "It just means that you get to pay for everything now."

"That's fine," Veronica smiled, though it was a little more forced. He wasn't the first to be interested in her friendship because of money.

She'd experienced it before. After her aunt had taken her in, Veronica was pulled out of her public school and sent to a more private one. People would get close to her because of the money her aunt possessed, but when they learned that Veronica had no access to it, they'd dump her instantly.

The only difference now was that she actually had some money because of Endeavour. It's true then. Shoto really is the only one who likes me for me.

Veronica and Katsuki ordered their food, finding a small table off to the side to sit down and enjoy their meal. Veronica sipped her drink, starring off into space gloomily as Katsuki munched away.

A glint of silver caught her eye. Veronica turned her attention to the source, realizing that it was someone's watch.

Someone's watch that was being stolen. She gasped in surprise, straightening in her seat as she watched a lanky man passing through the crowd. On first glance, he looked just like any other fairgoer, but on much closer inspection she saw that he was actually stealing other peoples belongings.

A watch here. A wallet there. Someone's phone.

"Tiger Warrior," Veronica grabbed Katsuki's attention, pointing to the man. "Look at that."

Katsuki's crimson eyes followed her finger, widening in surprise before narrowing at the villain. "A pickpocket."

Veronica nodded. "We can't let him get away with that."

"You're right. Let's get him!"

"Ah, Tiger Warrior, wait!" She tried to grab at Katsuki as he jumped out of his seat, running towards the low-level villain.

"HEY!" He yelled, drawing everyone's attention as he pointed at the man. "Stop stealing!"

The villain instantly bolted, avoiding people in the crowd as they realized his wrongdoings. Katsuki chased after him, shouting to try and warn everyone as he passed.

Veronica closed her eyes, focusing so that she could use her quirk, Second Sight. She watched from above as everything slowed dramatically, allowing her to pinpoint the pickpocket and predict his route of escape.

She opened her eyes, jumping into action. Merging into the void, Veronica ran, passing through vendors and people as she took a shortcut to the villain.

Using the lack of gravity in the Void, she pushed off from the ground, grabbing onto the top of a random vendors stall, hoisting herself up. She crouched down, preparing as the villain came into her line of sight, taking the path she'd predicted.

As he ran past her stand, Veronica pushed off of the stall, aiming towards his back. She returned to reality just before hitting the villain, knocking him to the ground as she landed on top of him.

"Hey! Get off of me you brat!" The man spun beneath Veronica's small frame before throwing her off of him and to the ground.

She gasped as pain shot through her body from the impact. The villain grabbed onto Veronica's ankle, dragging her towards him as he stood. She hissed in pain, eyes blurring with tears.

"Let her go!" Katsuki came into view, brandishing his wooden sword, a Pro Hero not far behind him.

"Not a step closer, Hero," the villain grinned menacingly as he grabbed Veronica by her throat and hoisted her up into the air.

She clawed at his hand, her feet dangling in the air as she kicked and tried to break free. Her vision blurred, the lack of oxygen beginning to affect her.

All Katsuki could see was red. The villain seemed to be oblivious to Veronica's frantic struggle for air, and the pro was holding back because she was being held as a hostage.

Anger and frustration boiled up inside of him. In an instant, he'd launched himself forward.

"DIE!" Before anyone could react, an explosion erupted from his palm, hitting the villain in his stomach.

The villain doubled over, dropping Veronica to the ground as he tried to protect himself. Another explosion erupted, knocking him back as it hit his face.

Katsuki ran towards Veronica as the Pro Hero grabbed the villain before he could escape once more.

His crimson eyes filled with worry as he watched Veronica gasping for air, tears streaming down her face. "Are you okay?" He demanded, trying to help her sit up.

She coughed, feeling dizzy, but overall fine. Veronica nodded, and Katsuki sighed in relief.

The police quickly arrived, taking away the pickpocket. They talked briefly to Veronica and Katsuki, thanking Katsuki for his help. He'd been delighted to hear the Pro Hero tell him that he'd make a great hero some day.

Once they'd looked Veronica over to ensure that she was okay, they released her back to Katsuki's mother. Mrs. Bakugo had managed to find Shoto and his mom while she'd been looking for Veronica and Katsuki.

Katsuki's mother had been far from happy, but Mrs. Todoroki was quick to calm her down. The two chatted for a time, allowing the three children to run around and play on some of the rides as the sun set.

Shoto bought himself a wooden sword, allowing him to duel with Katsuki as Veronica laughed and cheered them on, too tired to play herself.

Shoto had been far from happy to learn that Veronica had spent the better half of the day running around with Katsuki. He'd been even more upset when he heard about the villain taking her hostage.

"Thank you, for saving her," Shoto spoke to Katsuki once Veronica was out of earshot.

"It's what a hero is supposed to do," Katsuki grinned as he hit Shoto's sword with his own. "She's really cool, your sister."

"She's not my sister," Shoto blocked his next attack, frowning. "I don't care who you are. Even if you've saved her, she's still mine."

Katsuki scrunched up his nose. "Yours? She doesn't belong to anybody. She can be friends with whoever she wants!"

"You-"

"Dragon Prince! Tiger Warrior!" Veronica ran towards the boys, smiling brightly. "Your moms said that we could all go and ride the Ferris wheel. I want to see the fireworks from up there!" She pointed towards the ride, jumping up and down.

"Okay!" Both of them chimed in unison before glaring at each other.

"Come on!" Veronica linked her arms with theirs, pulling them towards the ride.

"Whoa... it's so pretty!" Veronica stared in awe out of the metal cabin's window. Twinkling lights illuminated the ground below as the sun faded and the Ferris wheel carried the three of them up and into the sky.

The boys nodded, their hands and faces pressed against the glass on either side of her. Shoto moved one hand from the glass, taking Veronica's in his.

Katsuki narrowed his crimson eyes at Shoto's actions, quickly going to grab Veronica's other hand with his. She smiled at both of them, ignorant to the silent battle going on between the two.

Their attention was quickly drawn back to the sky as explosions sounded. Bright, sparkling multicolored lights filled the night as they watched excitedly.

Both boys turned to look at Veronica's smiling face, their hearts swelling. One day, I'll bring her back here to watch the fireworks again.


"Charm bracelets are usually the best thing to get a girl," Kirishima glanced around the store. "They like jewelry, and they can always add stuff onto a charm bracelet afterward to make it even more special. Plus," he turned to Katsuki, flashing his teeth, " it'll be like a friendship bracelet. Girls love stuff like that!"

"A friendship bracelet?" Katsuki scowled at the redhead. "Doesn't that mean that you have to get matching ones?"

"I didn't know that you'd be willing to get matching ones," Kirishima laughed. "You really like her, don't you?"

"OI! Shut it, Shitty-hair!" Katsuki turned from his friend. A flash of sparkling color caught his eye.

He walked towards the jewelry case, bending down to look at one of the bracelets inside. The plain silver chain was dotted with multicolored stars. They sparkled in the store light, almost like mini fireworks.

It's perfect. He'd had his suspicions from the moment he'd met Veronica. Her quirk was too much like the girls to be a coincidence, and their time in the void had only confirmed it.

"Katsukitty!"

Katsuki's face reddened at the memory of Veronica shoving her chest in his face as she climbed up on top of him looking for his cat ears. He rubbed a hand down his face.

I doubt she remembers, it was so long ago. He smiled to himself as he paid for the charm bracelet. I've finally found you, my Fairy Princess.

He sighed in frustration. I'll tell her, once I get rid of that half-and-half bastard. When he's out of the picture, I'll remind her of the time we first met.

Chapter Text

The sound of Veronica's phone suddenly ringing pulled her from her thoughts. She lowered her hand, her new bracelet momentarily forgotten. She reached over and pulled her phone from her bag, her face lighting up when she saw who was calling.

"I have to take this," Veronica informed Katsuki, not even bothering to look at him as she answered her phone. "Hey, Sho-sho! What's up? I didn't think you'd have a chance to call until later."

Katsuki scowled. Fucking half-and-half. Why's she have to look so fucking happy just because of a phone call?

"My father was called away for some hero work, so I'm taking a short break. I thought that I should call now since I won't be able to after he returns."

"Oh, okay." Veronica's smile dipped at the corners. "How has your training been going?"

"Honestly, I didn't think my old man could get any worse, but I was wrong." His voice was laced with resentment.

Veronica's smile completely disappeared, replaced by a deep frown. "Oh, Sho-sho, I'm so sorry. I wish there was something that I could do."

Katsuki watched Veronica's half of the conversation silently, eyes narrowed. Is he really complaining about training? Does he want to be a pro or not?

"It's fine. How about you? Did you not have training planned for today?"

"No..." she shot Katsuki a sideways glance, guilt sinking into her stomach. "I ended up going out for coffee with some friends."

A smile slowly crept onto Katsuki's face. The temptation to yell something and inform the bastard that his girlfriend was out with him was almost too much. Unfortunately, he didn't want to make the shaky relationship that was his friendship with Veronica any worse. She'd no doubt be pissed if he did something like that.

"I'm glad you're enjoying yourself then."

"Yeah, me too," a small smile adorned Veronica's face once more. "I should go, I'm still at the café. I'll see you in the morning, okay?"

"Okay. I should probably get back to training anyways. Have a good night."

"You too." She hung up and turned to Katsuki, who simply raised an eyebrow at her. Veronica shrugged. "He wanted to give me a call since he wouldn't be able to later."

Katsuki huffed and rolled his eyes. "Whatever. Are you going to eat all of my cake or what?"

Veronica blinked a few times, looking down to the small plate in front of her. So much for just trying a bite. She'd absentmindedly managed to eat over half of his slice of spice cake already.

"Oh, wow, I'm so sorry. I didn't realize-"

"Tch, maybe you should be paying attention then." Katsuki reached his hand over to swipe a forkful of the cake, grunting in approval as he ate it. "It's good."

She eyed him suspiciously. "I thought you'd already eaten a slice?"

He shrugged. "I lied."

Veronica nibbled on her bottom lip, feeling slightly guilty as Katsuki continued to reach across and eat the cake. "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to eat almost all of your cake."

"Stop fucking apologizing," Katsuki took a sip of his tea. "You're not in trouble, I offered it, remember?"

She slowly nodded, feeling slightly awkward. "So, uh, you like sweet things too?"

"Not really," he finished off the cake. "I much prefer spicy foods."

Veronica tilted her head to the side, confused. "Cake's not exactly spicy."

"Heh, obviously." Katsuki leaned back in his seat, crossing his arms across his chest. "But spice cake isn't nearly as sweet as normal cakes, so I don't mind it."

She nodded, thinking for a moment. "Hey Katsuki, can I ask you something?"

"Tch, just fucking ask. You don't need my permission to ask a question."

"Um, okay." Veronica took a deep breath in through her nose as she fidgeted nervously with her hands. "What exactly happened today, between you and Shoto?"

Katsuki leaned forward, raising an eyebrow. "Why didn't you just ask that fucking half-and-half bastard?"

Veronica swallowed hard, looking down at her hands. "He wouldn't have told me, even if I'd asked. He'd just brush it off and say that it wasn't anything I should worry about." She sighed in frustration. "He always feels the need to protect me from even the simplest of things, for absolutely no reason."

"Heh, that's an understatement."

"What do you mean?" Veronica raised her eyes to look at Katsuki, his crimson ones watching her closely.

"You're not as fragile as he'd like to believe. You don't need to be protected from everything. You're brave. Stupid, but brave." Katsuki's fiery eyes met hers. " At the USJ, you acted instantly to jump to my and Shitty-hair's aid. You didn't even hesitate last year when that sludge villain attacked. As far as you knew, there was no way for you to use your quirk to help me, yet you still launched yourself at us. You could have just as easily gotten stuck in the sludge villain with me, but you didn't care."

Veronica gaped at Katsuki in shock as he continued. "I watched your fight with that blue-haired bastard from the Sports Festival last year. It was..." he flashed a wicked smile. "It was brutal. You're not weak. Half-and-half needs to stop acting like you are."

Veronica sucked in a breath, remembering how injured she'd been after her fight with Touya the previous year. It was the last round of fighting, and they'd both been gunning for first place. Since neither of them had to worry about fighting another opponent afterwards, they both went all out.

"I've been thinking about that, actually," Katsuki pushed aside his empty mug. "Why didn't the teachers interfere during your fight? I didn't think they allowed students to practically kill each other during the Sports Festival."

Veronica winced. He was right. Her fight with Touya really had been brutal. He'd learned to make small forcefields into knife-like weapons, and had managed to get a few good slices and stabs in during the battle.

"Not normally, no. They're a little more lenient with the older years since we're supposed to have more control over our quirks. If it'd been anyone else, they definitely would have stopped it." Veronica stared into the bottom of her mug. "They just didn't want to knock me out in case I shifted to the void and lost consciousness. They were afraid that I'd die of blood loss if that happened." She let out a humorless laugh. "Plus, Touya and I were determined to fight to the end, so they kind of just had to wait for it to be over."

"I'm sure your boyfriend wasn't too fucking happy about that," Katsuki snorted.

"That's an understatement," she chuckled. "I don't think I've ever seen someone so pissed and relieved at the same time, let alone him."

"Heh, that's one way to show that you aren't weak and that you won't stop until you've come out on top," Katsuki smirked. "I can get behind that."

"Too bad you and I can't duke it out during the Sports Festival. I'd love to see your face after I kicked your ass."

Veronica laughed as Katsuki made a face, his whole demeanor changing. "OI! Don't think you're better than me just because you're older! I'd kick your ass! I'm the fucking best!"

She rolled her eyes as he continued on. "Look," she interrupted his furious rambling. "I should probably get going. I have school work and I need to train."

Katsuki narrowed his eyes at her but settled down as she flagged down the waitress. Veronica moved to grab her wallet from her bag when Katsuki suddenly slapped some money down on the table, making her jump.

"I'll pay."

Veronica shook her head. "No. I ate pretty well all of your cake, so I should pay for that, and my stuff."

"We're friends, aren't we? I'll pay."

"Katsuki," she gave him a sharp look. "Friends pay for their own things unless it's a special occasion."

"OI! That other girl paid for your stuff earlier. Why the hell can't I do the same?" His crimson eyes watched her expectantly.

Veronica sighed in defeat. God damn it, Nanami! This is all your fault. "Fine, but only this once."

Katsuki smiled triumphantly as the waitress took his money and Veronica shoved her wallet back into her bag. Veronica stood, collecting herself as she avoided Katsuki's gaze. "I'll be going then."

Katsuki lept to his feet. "I'll walk you home."

"Don't push it," she shot him a glance before taking a few steps forward, disappearing into the void.

It wasn't until Veronica arrived at home that she realized Katsuki hadn't actually told her what had happened between them at lunch. She swore as she flopped onto her bed. Guess it'd be weird to ask again. Maybe I should just forget about it.

Chapter Text

"Principle Nezu?" Veronica called as she knocked lightly on the office door. She'd been informed by her homeroom teacher that she was supposed to go and see the principle at the beginning of lunch. She was nervous about suddenly being called to his office and tried to think of anything she might have done wrong since the start of school. Maybe Nana told them something...? Veronica shook her head. No, she said she was giving me 2 weeks to decide. So then, what is this about?

"Come in."

Veronica slowly opened the office door, taking a tentative step inside. "You wanted to see me?"

"Ah, Miss Unmei! Just in time," Principle Nezu smiled at Veronica as she entered his office. "I'd like to introduce you to my friend here."

Veronica looked to the man standing beside her principle, who smiled. "Hello. I'm Detective Tsukauchi. It's a pleasure to meet you, Miss Unmei."

Veronica's heart dropped into her stomach as she greeted the officer in front of her, taking a shaky bow. "It's nice to meet you too."

"Now, now, Miss Unmei, there's no need to be nervous!" Nezu motioned for her to take the seat in front of his desk. She reluctantly complied as he continued. "We have a wonderful opportunity for you."

Veronica's eyes widened in surprise. "An opportunity?"

"Oh yes!" Nezu nodded enthusiastically. "First, I'd like to clarify something. Is it true that you plan on becoming a teacher for the Hero course once you've finished your schooling?"

Veronica nodded as she fidgeted with her hands in your lap. "Yes. I was planning on doing Hero work for a couple of years before going for my teaching degree."

"Wonderful! Then we'd like for you to enroll in a specialized program we've created."

"What?" Her eyes nearly popped out of her skull. "You want me to what?"

Detective Tsukauchi chuckled. "It was mainly my idea." Veronica looked to the detective, confused. "The police force is very interested in your quirks. With your abilities, we'd easily be able to scope out hostage situations without risking anyone. You'd be able to help us with anything too dangerous or difficult for anyone else, actually. You'd be a big asset to the police force."

"So then, what does that have to do with me wanting to be a teacher?"

"We've made arrangements so that once you're done your schooling here, you can work with the police force as a pro hero while you're taking your teaching course. They'll be able to work with your schooling schedule, and we'd also like to have you work here at UA for your course placement." Nezu pulled some papers out of his desk and pushed them towards Veronica. "Mr. Aizawa has, of course, expressed interest in having you as his TA."

Veronica took the papers from the desk, looking over the personalized program information. "It says here that I won't be able to take part in the Sports Festival this year?" She frowned.

"Unfortunately, no," Detective Tsukauchi's smile faded as he cleared his throat. "We'd want to keep your abilities as hidden as possible. It may seem a bit redundant since you've already won the last two, but we're hoping that people don't notice it too much."

"It'll also give your classmates a better chance for agency selection since you won't need to find one after school now," Nezu continued.

"Of course, if you're worried about your internship placement, I can have something arranged with the police department for you," Tsukauchi smiled encouragingly.

Veronica thought for a second. "Is... is it alright if I take some time to think this over?"

"Of course!" Nezu exclaimed. "We wouldn't expect you to give us an answer immediately. It is an important decision after all. You can give us your answer anytime, as long as it's by the day of the Sports Festival."

Veronica nodded as she stood. "Thank you." She bowed once more. "I'll give you my answer by then."


"Mr. Aizawa?" Veronica poked her head into the open door of the teachers' lounge. The room was almost completely empty aside from a familiar sleeping bag clad man.

"What?" he grumbled, shuffling to turn around. "Can't you see I'm on my lunch break?"

"Ah, sorry," she quickly apologized, unsure of how to act. I guess this is how he treats all the other students.

"Oh, Unmei, it's you." His demeanor instantly changed as he took on a more relaxed form as he exited his sleeping bag. "What can I do for you?"

"I wanted to thank you." Veronica made her way into the teachers' area as Mr. Aizawa took a seat at his desk. "Principle Nezu just made me an offer regarding my plans for after I graduate, and I can't help but think that you gave him the idea."

"I may have made a few suggestions," he shrugged. "I do hope you'll accept. It's the type of opportunity that only comes around once in a lifetime."

"That's true," she smiled. "I hope that you'll find another pupil once I leave. I'd imagine that there are a lot of students in the hero course who would be honored to have you as a mentor."

"We'll see," he huffed. "It's rare for me to find someone that has a similar take on heroics that I do."

"You never know," Veronica shrugged. "Maybe one of the first years will catch your eye during the Sports Festival."

Mr. Aizawa eyed her briefly. "Perhaps. Now, are you going to ask me what you really came here to ask?"

Veronica's eyes widened in surprise before she let out a laugh. "I suppose you of all people would know when there's more to what I'm saying." He nodded as she continued. "I was wondering if you'd ever heard of people's quirks... evolving, I guess?"

He raised an eyebrow. "Evolving? Normally quirks are improved and somewhat evolved over generations, but I'd imagine that's not what your asking." Veronica shook her head as he thought. "It's not something I've ever personally heard of, though I suppose it is possible. Most of the time though, people simply learn about other aspects to their quirks that they weren't aware existed beforehand. Why do you ask?"

"It's just that, on the first day, when you used your quirk to erase Midoriya's, I... felt it." Veronica wrung out her hands, trying to search for the words to explain. "I was floating in the void between the two of you, and your quirk sort of passed through me, but I felt it. My altitude in the air dropped briefly, almost like my gravity had been returned for a second before your quirk affected Midoriya." She sighed in exasperation. "And with the few times I've been able to transport other people in the void... that was something that I was never able to do before. I'd given up even trying to advance that aspect of my quirk years ago because successfully transporting a living creature had never been even remotely possible before, so why now? Is it possible that my quirk is changing somehow?"

Mr. Aizawa frowned. "That is odd. My quirk has never been able to affect you before while you were in the void, which is why we deducted that you were no longer on the physical plane. As for your recent ability to transport others... it's possible that your own power has just increased since the first incident. It could also be an increase in ability due to the dire situation. When quirks were first discovered in the world, not all were discovered during a person's childhood. There were many adults who suddenly experienced and learned about their quirks while they were in life or death situations. The rush of adrenaline and the dire need allowed them to unlock their own hidden talents. You may be a 5th generation quirk user, but it's not unheard of for such incidents to still occur among those who are already aware of their own capabilities."

Veronica nodded, thinking. "Okay, I suppose that makes sense."

"I will look into the former though," Mr. Aizawa continued. "Maybe there's someone else out there who's experienced a similar phenomenon. Your quirk is of its own unique brand after all, so maybe it's not that unlikely that it is evolving in your own time. Your quirk of second sight is from your mother, correct?" Veronica gave him a weak smile and nodded. "Then it is likely that your other quirk has been passed down, or is an evolution of your fathers."

"I guess that's possible." She sighed. "I know nothing of my father though."

"I may be able to track him down if you'd like?" Mr. Aizawa offered. "It would greatly help to further your own studies into your quirk."

"Oh, no, please don't," Veronica frantically declined. "From what I've been told, my father is a married man. He may not even be aware that he has a daughter." She laughed bitterly. "As much as I'd love to have my questions answered, I'd prefer not to become a bother. I'd hate to be the reason a family fell apart."

Mr. Aizawa gave Veronica a somber look. "Alright. If you change your mind, let me know. For now, I'll only look into the possible evolution of your quirk."

Chapter Text

"Alright little guys," Veronica smiled weakly at the three small bunnies. She shifted their cage into her other hand as she exited the pet store after school. "Let's see how the next couple of weeks go."

The next two weeks leading up to the UA Sports Festival went by quickly. Veronica's time with Shoto was limited to the brief walk to school in the morning, and the hour provided at school for lunch. It was what they'd been expecting, but it didn't make the lack of contact any easier. Veronica hoped that Shoto's training was going okay and that his father wasn't being too hard on him, though she didn't hold her breath.

To Veronica's surprise, Katsuki also seemed to be keeping his distance as he focused on his training. They'd spoken a few words to each other during class as she helped the 1-A students train, but that was about it. I suppose it's better this way. At least there won't be any new drama.

Veronica spent the two weeks leading up to the Sports Festival much like the others; training her butt off. She'd canceled a lot of her training sessions with her own classmates, opting instead to try and train her newfound ability. She'd been upset when the first bunny had been lost, but it wasn't completely unexpected. When she finally worked up the courage to try again with the second one, Veronica had been overcome with relief as it hopped around her feet in the void.

It had taken almost all of her energy, but her experiment had been more than successful. The next two weeks she continuously trained her transportation ability, until she could easily merge both of the remaining creatures into and out of the void without feeling completely wiped out. Maybe one day I'll easily be able to save people this way as well.

During this time, the thought of the opportunity Veronica had been presented burned its way through her mind. She'd decided to keep quiet about Principle Nezu's offer, not wanting to bother any of her friends as they focused on the battle ahead. What would happen if I accepted? What will my aunt do? What about Endeavour? Will he change his mind about me if I decide to pursue my teaching career right away? There was no doubt that her aunt would throw a fit about it. All her lessons and money gone to waste... The bitter thought left a foul taste in Veronica's mouth.

What about Shoto? What about my friends? She'd yet to tell any of them about her dreams of becoming a teacher instead of a pro hero. Will Shoto think of me any differently? The mere thought stressed Veronica out to no end.

Before long, it was the last day of school before the Sports Festival, and she still had yet to make a decision.

"Gah!" Veronica threw her hands up in frustration as she fell back onto the couch in the Homework Heroes clubroom. She was all alone, all of the other members opting to take the day off after school to train. "God, why does it have to be this hard to make a decision?" Tears pricked at her eyes. The clock was ticking.

Veronica pulled her knees up to her chest, burying her head in her knees as her emotions overtook her. Why does life have to be so fucking hard? Why can't I just be a kid again? Before she knew it, she was bawling. The sudden release of emotions felt good after she'd kept them bottled up for so long. God, I haven't even figured out what to do about my home situation.

"Veronica?"

Veronica froze as Katsuki's worried voice reached her. Fuck! I thought everyone had gone home already. Veronica raised her head, watching through tears as Katsuki entered the clubroom. He quickly made his way to her, taking a seat on the couch beside her as he pulled her stiff form to him.

"What's wrong? What the hell happened?"

"Nothing," she croaked out, hurridly swiping away her tears.

"Bullshit," his harsh voice made her wince. "Did that half-and-half bastard hurt you or something?"

Veronica frantically shook her head. "No. No, I haven't really seen much of Shoto for a couple of weeks."

Katsuki's crimson eyes watched her expectantly as he released her so that she could sit up fully. Veronica sucked in a breath, realizing that he wasn't going to let her get away with keeping it to herself. "Okay, um..." She took a deep breath, closing her eyes. "What would you say if I told you that I didn't want to be a pro hero? That I wanted to be a teacher for the hero course instead?"

Veronica peeked an eye open after Katsuki remained silent, watching as he made an unreadable face. "I'd say that maybe you were in the wrong course then? Why the hell would you go to school to become a pro if that's not what you wanted?"

"Well, it wasn't always like that," Veronica laughed nervously, looking away as words started to pour from her mouth. "I mean, growing up I always wanted to be a kick-ass pro hero, but once I got into UA, things changed I guess? I'm not really sure. I just loved helping my classmates and working with them to improve on their own combat skills and stuff. That's one of the reasons why I became a part of the Homework Heroes. I mean, I love helping people and all, but the look of pride and accomplishment someone gets on their face when you help them to learn and achieve what they've always wanted to... it's just a completely different and wonderful feeling. I love working with people to improve themselves, and heroes play such an important part in today's society, so why not, you know? I mean, I guess maybe you don't know but, um-"

"Veronica!" Katsuki interrupted her rambling. She sheepishly looked back at him, embarrassed.

"Sorry."

Katsuki sighed. "So that's what you're going to do then, become a teacher?"

"Um, yeah, eventually." Veronica sighed. "Or maybe sooner. I don't really know yet. Principle Nezu made me an offer that I'd be stupid to refuse, but I'm not sure that I should take it." Katsuki raised an eyebrow at her as she quickly explained his proposal. "The only thing is that if I accept, I won't be allowed to take part in the Sports Festival."

Katsuki frowned. "That's fucking stupid."

"You're telling me." Veronica sighed again.

"What does that half-and-half think?"

Veronica fidgetted with her fingers. "See, that's the thing..." She nervously laughed. "No one really knows about this. You're the first person I've ever really talked to about wanting to be a teacher for the hero course."

Katsuki couldn't help the smile that spread across his face as his chest filled with pride. Ha! Take that you half-and-half bastard! She trusts me with her hopes and dreams more than you. "I think the answer is pretty fucking obvious then."

Veronica gave him a confused look as Katsuki rolled his eyes. "You take the offer, idiot. Fuck everyone else, do what makes you fucking happy. If they have a problem with it, send em my way." He gave her a menacing grin. "I'll sort em out."

Veronica laughed, feeling like the weight of the world had just been lifted from her shoulders. "You're right. Thank you, Katsuki."

Katsuki felt his heart squeeze as she smiled at him brightly. "Anytime."

Veronica's laughter died down as she thought for a moment. "Hey, Katsuki? Why do you like me? We barely know each other, so I don't understand what you'd see in me."

Katsuki's crimson eyes widened in surprise as Veronica watched him. His cheeks flushed slightly as he sucked in a breath, gritting his teeth. "Is it really that fucking hard to understand. I just like you, okay?"

Veronica pursed her lips, her face falling slightly. "Oh."

"Fine," he huffed, looking away as he rubbed the back of his neck, the tips of his ears turning red. "You're just, really fucking awesome, okay?" He turned to look at her again, his crimson eyes locking with hers, nostrils flaring. "You never back down from a fight, no matter how bad it looks for you. You'd sacrifice yourself in an instant for anyone else, despite everything you've been through. It's almost sickening how sweet you are to others, always making sure they're okay and happy, even if your breaking on the inside. You're strong, and brilliant, and so fucking bright. Your smile lights up any room in an instant, and you look so god damn good. I barely know how to control myself around you." Veronica blushed as he continued. "You're an amazing fighter, and so confident and capable when it comes to combat. You're amazing with people, and always know what to say to set them at ease. You're everything any hero strives to be, yet you still somehow manage to be so timid and unsure when it comes to anything you want for yourself. It makes me want to protect you and keep you all to myself."

Veronica's breath was shaky as her heart thumped erratically in her chest. Holy shit! Is that really what he thinks of me? "Katsuki, I never knew..."

He let out a laugh. "Of course you fucking didn't. The only person you're worried about is that fucking half-and-half bastard."

Silence descended around them as they watched each other, unsure of how to continue.

"Can I..." Katsuki ran a hand through his ash blond spikes. "Can I kiss you?"

The air was sucked from Veronica's lungs. "Katsuki..." She looked away from him. "I can't... I can't say yes to that."

Veronica heard him sigh in frustration before she turned back to him, her deep blue eyes meeting his crimson ones. "I can't say yes... but I won't say no."

Katsuki smiled triumphantly, bringing his rugged hands to Veronica's face as he leaned down, placing his soft lips against her. She sighed breathlessly as he kissed her, his lips moving against hers gently at first, before his movements became rougher, desperate. He groaned in approval as she eagerly moved against him, returning his enthusiasm with her own.

After a few moments, Veronica pulled away, fighting for air as the pad of his thumb traced her kiss-swollen lips. Oh god, what have I done?!

Chapter Text

Shoto quickly made his way to the Homework Heroes clubroom. He'd been halfway home when his father had called him. Endeavour had been called in for Hero work unexpectedly, giving Shoto a free evening.

Veronica had already told him at lunch that she'd be looking after the Homework Heroes duties today. Everyone had been taking turns in order to train, and today was hers. He was excited to see her reaction when he surprised her. It's been so long since I've been able to see her after school. Shoto smiled to himself as he neared the open clubroom door.

"You're everything any hero strives to be, yet you still somehow manage to be so timid and unsure when it comes to anything you want for yourself. It makes me want to protect you and keep you all to myself."

Shoto froze in his tracks as Katsuki's voice seeped into the hallway. What the-

"Katsuki, I never knew..." Veronica's gentle yet shocked voice followed. Shoto quietly crept forward, coming to a halt at the edge of the open doorway.

"Of course you fucking didn't. The only person you're worried about is that fucking half-and-half bastard."

Damn right! Shoto huffed, peeking around the corner to watch them.

"Can I... Can I kiss you?"

Shoto clenched his jaw. "Katsuki..." Veronica looked away from the ashen blond. "I can't... I can't say yes to that." Fucking tell him, Nica. You're mine.

Shoto's heart dropped into his stomach as Veronica turned back to Katsuki. The look of uncertainty in her deep blue eyes said it all. "I can't say yes... but I won't say no."

Anger surged through Shoto's veins as Katsuki took Veronica's face in his hands, kissing her. He pushed away from the doorway, turning to storm back down the hall, his rage barely contained. You'll pay for that you fucking asshole! Come Monday, I'll fucking show you who she belongs to. This means war.


Veronica pulled her golden blonde hair back into a high ponytail, leaving some of it out in the front to frame her face. She smiled at herself in the mirror before going to grab her bag. Principle Nezu had been ecstatic when she'd told him her final decision. He'd informed Veronica that she could think of the Sports Festival as a free day. He'd even offered to let her spectate the first years in the class 1-A bleacher section if she so desired.

Veronica had made a hasty exit after her kiss with Katsuki the other day, but he'd sent a few texts here and there over the weekend to see how she was doing. Shoto, on the other hand, had gone silent. Veronica sighed. What did I expect, really? I doubt Endeavour's even given him a second of free time with the Sports Festival being so close.

Today Veronica had opted for a pair of dark skinny jeans and a plain red v-neck, long sleeved shirt. She pulled in a shaky breath as a knock sounded on her front door. To say she was nervous was an understatement. She had yet to inform Shoto of her decision for the future.

Veronica gave Shoto a bright smile as she opened her front door. "Hi, Sho-sho!"

He grunted in response, stepping into her home as she pulled on a black pair of flats. Veronica frowned at his greeting. "You okay?"

"Yeah, sorry," Shoto offered her a weak smile as he handed her her morning beverage. He must be exhausted from training. "You aren't wearing your school uniform?"

"Nope," Veronica breezed past him. "I won't be participating in the Sports Festival today either."

"What?" Shoto gave her a confused look as he followed and she turned to lock her front door.

"I get to watch you today instead," Veronica hummed, turning to smile at him again. "Come on," she grabbed his hand, leading him away from her apartment and towards UA. He trailed after her, stunned. "I'll explain to you on the way."


"But I thought that being a pro hero had always been your dream. What changed?" Shoto was at a loss. Everything Veronica had done up until this point in her life had all been to achieve her goal. Wouldn't it be a waste to throw it away now?

"I still plan to work as a pro hero Sho-sho, just like Mr. Aizawa. I'll just be doing it more on the down low, and helping out the police with investigations and stuff."

Shoto's heart hurt at the use of his nickname. Is she really going to act as of nothing has changed? What is this? "But teaching? Is that really what you want?"

Veronica nodded, biting her bottom lip. "It is." She sighed. "Actually, it has been for a while now, but it wasn't until recently that I actually decided to pursue it."

"Why didn't you tell me?" The more Veronica talked, the worse the pain in Shoto's chest became. She used to tell me everything. What's changed?

Shoto clenched his jaw. Him. That fucking explosive asshole, that's what's changed.

"I'm sorry, Shoto." Veronica gave him an apologetic look. "I was just..." She exhaled sharply, looking away from him. "I was just scared, I guess. I didn't know what you'd think, and honestly, I wasn't even 100 percent sure that I was going to do it anyways."

Veronica turned back to Shoto, a smile forming on her lips. "Silly, right? I know that you've always been there to support me, but for some reason, I was afraid that you'd be disappointed in me."

She let out a small laugh, brushing her hair out of her face with her free hand. "I need to realize that-"

"What's that?" Shoto's eyes narrowed in on the flash of metal that sparkled on Veronica's wrist. He hadn't noticed it until she'd brought it close to her face.

"Oh, this?" Veronica held up her hand, twisting it slightly so that the colorful star charms jangled against each other. "It's a friendship bracelet." She'd been leaving it at home on school days, worried that she'd forget about it and leave it on during training. She didn't want it to get lost or broken by mistake.

"A friendship bracelet?" Shoto eyed the metal chain suspiciously. "From who?"

"From Katsuki," Veronica smiled brightly. "He gave it to me the other week as an apology."

Rage surged through Shoto's body. "He what?!"

Veronica winced at his harsh outburst. Her chest suddenly felt as though she was being squeezed to death, her breathing almost painful. Her body tensed as if it were preparing for an attack. Shoto had never been mad at her before. He never yelled, even if she accidentally upset him.

Veronica tried holding her breath, a technique that Nanami had taught her to prevent her from hyperventilating and making the panic attack worse. It's alright, it's just Shoto. He'd never hurt me.

Shoto noticed Veronica's sudden change in demeanor. He quickly tugged her to his chest by their joined hands, wrapping his arm around her. "Hey, I'm sorry." He forced himself to calm down, his voice softening. It's not her that I should be mad at. "I didn't mean to yell. It's okay."

Veronica sucked in a breath, taking in his rich pine smell as her body relaxed slightly, her breathing a bit easier. She shook her head before pulling herself from his embrace.

"Come on," Veronica started to walk, avoiding Shoto's worried gaze. "We should get to school."


The UA grounds were packed, to say the least. Veronica wandered along the stadium halls through the void, looking for class 1-A's waiting room. She was hoping to surprise them and wish them all good luck in the coming battle. They'd all trained so hard the past couple of weeks, and she was pumped to get to see them in action.

Veronica stumbled through various rooms until she happened upon the one she was searching for. She smiled as she took a moment to watch them trying to amp each other up for the coming events. Veronica noticed Shoto leaning against a wall and prepared to merge out of the void when he began to speak, making her pause.

"Midoriya." Everyone turned to watch as Shoto pushed off from the wall, approaching his green haired classmate with a serious expression. Veronica remained in the void, her curiosity peeked.

"Hey, Todoroki," Midoriya turned to face Shoto, surprised. "What's up?"

Katsuki turned slightly in his chair, interested in their exchange. What's that half-and-half bastard up to now?

"From an objective standpoint, I think it's fairly clear that I'm stronger than you," Shoto spoke bluntly and Midoriya slumped his shoulders slightly in defeat. "However, you've got All Might in your corner helping you out."

Midoriya's eyes widened as Shoto eyed him suspiciously. "I'm not here to pry about what's going on between you two..." He paused, his expression hardening. "But know that I will beat you."

Veronica stood in the void, mouth agape. She'd never really seen Shoto act that way before. He always seemed so different around her; kinder, a little more at ease and open. He's been acting so strange since this morning. Veronica's chest tightened as she remembered his earlier outburst. Maybe I'm not the only one holding things back.

Kaminari approached them, frowning. "Uh, what's with all these declarations of war lately?"

Kirishima walked towards Shoto, who's back was turned to him. "Yeah, what's the big deal?" Kirishima placed his hand on Shoto's shoulder, trying to calm him. "Why are you picking a fight all of a sudden? And right before we get started..."

Shoto jerked his shoulder, knocking Kirishima's hand away. "We're not here to be each other's friends," he spoke harshly, walking away. "Don't forget this isn't a team effort."

Veronica's heart broke as she watched the exchange between Shoto and his classmates. She understood how he felt. After all, she had acted the same towards her classmates during their first Sports Festival as well. He's always been so closed off towards others, but I didn't realize that it was this bad.

Veronica's hands fisted at her sides as she fought the urge to merge back into reality and go to comfort him. No, he's his own person. He has to handle this himself. I'll wait until things settle down a bit before wishing them all good luck.

Midoriya frowned at his classmate. "Wait a sec, Todoroki." Shoto stopped in his tracks, glancing back at the green haired boy. "I don't know what's going through your head, or why you think you need to tell me that you'll beat me. And yeah, of course you're better than me. In fact, you probably have way more potential than anyone in this course. That's why you got in so easily."

Katsuki clenched his jaw at Midoriya's words. The fuck are you talking about Deku?! No way that half-and-half bastard is better than me!

Kirishima held up his hands in an attempt to calm everyone down. "Midoriya, maybe you're being a little hard on yourself, and us..."

"No, he's right you guys! All the other courses are coming for us with everything they've got. We're all going to have to fight to stand out."

Shoto turned to face Midoriya once more, pure determination evident in Midoriya's green eyes. "And I'll be aiming for the top too."

"Fine."

"Tch." Katsuki crossed his arms, turning away from them in anger. That bastard! Does he not see me as a fucking threat? I'll show him!

Veronica dug her nails into her palms as their conversation ended. It reminded her so much of how brutal the Sports Festival really could be. Everyone's going to be fighting to show that they have what it takes. Being friendly isn't going to get them anywhere right now.

Taking a deep breath, Veronica stepped back into reality, surprising class 1-A. "Hello, everyone." She smiled brightly, trying to be a beacon of light during this stressful time.

"I know that things may seem very tense right now," she looked around the room, offering each of them an encouraging smile. "But I'm rooting for all of you. Show them what you're made of, and good luck! I'll be cheering for you all from the stands."

Most of them mumbled words of thanks as Veronica made her way through the room and out of the door.

Heh, Katsuki laughed to himself. I guess there's really no telling when and where she'll pop up.

Chapter Text

Veronica took her place in the bleachers, stretching out as she stifled a yawn. The festival was going to be starting soon. She grabbed some snacks and a cold drink from her bag, setting it down in a corner of the closed off section. Walking to the edge of the stands, she merged into the void, pulling herself up onto the wall.

Taking advantage of the voids lack of gravity, Veronica pushed off from the wall, gently floating up and out towards the center of the stadium. She could only imagine how jealous everyone else would be of her perfect view. She could get as close to the action as she wanted without any risk of injury, and without worrying about interfering with the outcome of the games.

Veronica kicked her feet in a swimming motion to propel herself through the void, coming to a stop directly in the middle of the stadium before floating down to rest above the main stage. Good thing I'm not afraid of heights, she chuckled to herself.

Veronica opened a bag of her favorite chips as they started to introduce the different classes and their courses. She watched as Class 1-A emerged from their respective tunnel, all eyes on them. Some of them looked extremely nervous, and she didn't blame them.

I'm so glad that I don't have to deal with this stuff this year. Veronica sighed. The introductions had always been her least favorite part of the event. She'd had more than enough of people gawking at her throughout her entire life, thanks to her aunt.

"Now, the introductory speech!"

Veronica's attention was drawn to the pro hero Midnight, who stood on the main stage, wearing an outfit that seemed far from appropriate for a school event. She rolled her eyes as most of the crowd fawned over Midnight's outfit, the students in front of her clearly embarrassed and uncomfortable. Perverts.

"Silence everyone!" Midnight attempted to calm the crowd. "For the student pledge, we have, Katsuki Bakugo!"

Veronica choked on a potato chip, her eyes going wide. I guess he did place first in the hero course entrance exams...

She watched as Katsuki made his way to the stage, hands in his pants pockets, completely at ease. He stood in front of the microphone, eyeing up the crowded stadium bleachers. "I just wanna say... I'm gonna win." His words were blunt, his expression dead serious.

Holy shit! Did he really just...

There was a resounding chorus of booing from the crowd, the other first years yelling in outrage. Katsuki remained calm as he turned back to them, giving them a thumbs down before leaving the stage.

Veronica burst into a fit of laughter. "God, why am I not surprised?" She wiped tears from the corners of her eyes. "That's so like him."

Veronica's breath caught in her throat, realization setting in. That's so like him? When did we get so close that I started thinking like that? She exhaled harshly. God, my life is a complete fucking mess right now. She shook her head. Don't worry about that now, just focus on the festival and relax.

Veronica returned her attention to the main stage. The first game had already been decided, and she listened intently as Midnight explained the rules. An obstacle race? Veronica let out a laugh. Wow, just like when I was a first year.

That had of course been the easiest part of her own Sports Festival. Using the void, Veronica had been able to breeze her way through all of the obstacles, leaving her classmates in the dust. She laughed, remembering Touya's annoyed face when he realized that there was no chance of him beating her during that event.

I wonder how Shoto and Katsuki will handle it...

"Begin!"

Veronica watched in amusement as they all rushed to the starting tunnel, most of them getting stuck along the way. She turned her attention to one of the screens, knowing that there was no way she could keep up and watch everyone if she followed along in the void.

Veronica watched as a blast of snowy mist shot its way out of the end of the tunnel, freezing most of the students to the ground. She smiled. Good job, Sho-sho!

Shoto emerged from the tunnel, a few of his classmates following not too far behind as they managed to dodge his attack. Katsuki blasted his way above the ice, launching himself forward as Shoto started to skate away on a trail of ice.

A familiar, small purple form jumped towards Shoto, attempting to attack him with his quirk, only to be hit down by a robot. Veronica sat up, watching as the fake villains from the entrance exams began to appear around everyone.

Shoto was stopped not too far ahead of the crowd, coming face to face with 3 of the giant zero point robots. Without hesitation he leaned forward, placing his right hand on the ground before swinging it upwards, his ice shooting forward at an alarming rate to freeze the robots. He let out a frosty breath before continuing onward.

Veronica nodded in approval, noticing that he'd frozen them as they were attacking, leaving them to fall behind him in an attempt to trap the other students.

Familiar explosions drew Veronica's attention as she turned to watch Katsuki flying into the air. Using his quirk to dodge the giant robots as they attacked, he landed atop one. He quickly jumped off of it, explosions erupting from his hands as he propelled himself forward in an attempt to catch Shoto.

Shoto quickly came to the next obstacle, an enormous pit filled with various rock towers joined by connecting ropes. He easily skated his way across the ropes using his ice, Katsuki not far behind as he used his quirk to blast his way through the air above the obstacle.

They're so far ahead of everyone... Do the others even stand a chance against them?

Shoto slowed as he approached the last obstacle. He chose to carefully make his way through the minefield, not wanting to leave a trail of ice for the others to follow along behind him on. Katsuki quickly caught up to him, launching himself ahead.

"Bastard! Your declaration of war was to the wrong person!" Katsuki shot his hand out, attempting to blast Shoto with an explosion. Shoto dodged his attack, and they began to fight as they made their way through the mind field.

"I made my declaration to you long ago."

"Ha, is that so?" Katsuki grinned maliciously. "Does that mean you're finally challenging me for her?"

"Isn't it obvious," Shoto shot a line of ice at Katsuki, who quickly evaded it.

Katsuki kicked at Shoto, who blocked his attack. "Winner takes all?"

Shoto retaliated, throwing a punch at Katsuki. "And loser walks away forever."

I won't lose!

Veronica's attention was suddenly drawn from their on-screen battle to the back of the minefield. A massive explosion of pink erupted from the start of the last obstacle. She watched with bated breath as a familiar tuff of dark green hair went soaring forward above the others.

Katsuki and Shoto paused their fighting to look back as Midoriya flew through the air atop a piece of a robot past them. Both forgot their battle and resumed their journey forward, desperate to keep ahead of their classmate. Katsuki blasted himself into the air after Midoriya as Shoto began forming an ice path in front of himself, rushing forward.

Veronica watched in awe and admiration as Midoriya maneuvered himself around in the air, his feet hitting both of the boys on their backs as they caught up to him. He brought the robot arm down in front of them with a resounding smash. It hit the ground with a bang, another loud explosion going off as he pushed off of Shoto and Katsuki like a springboard, flying through the air once more.

Midoriya dropped the robot arm, barely managing to land on his feet just past the end of the minefield. He rushed forward, desperate to take first place.

Shoto emerged from the cloud of pink smoke, gasping for air as he fought to catch up to Midoriya using his quirk. Katsuki followed not far behind him, clearly pissed as he screamed and raced forward.

It was going to be close...

"Headed back into the stadium is the first place winner..." Present Mic beamed over the speakers. "Izuku Midoriya is our champion!"

The whole stadium filled with cheering as Midoriya emerged from the tunnel, claiming first place. Veronica cheered along with them as Midoriya clenched his fist, smiling through tears as he celebrated his victory.

Shoto entered next, placing second as Katsuki took third, and Veronica's heart swelled with pride. They were all so wonderful!

Katsuki and Shoto came to a stop, fighting to catch their breath.

"Deku... Not again," Katsuki clenched his jaw, rage filling him. That fucking bastard! As if I didn't have enough to deal with...

"It's not over yet," Shoto turned to Katsuki, steam pouring off of him as he counteracted the backlash of his ice. "There are still two more rounds."

"Hah," Katsuki huffed, narrowing his crimson eyes at Shoto. "Deku or not, don't forget our deal. When I win, she's mine."

Veronica watched, smiling as the rest of the first years continued to pile through the tunnel and back into the stadium. I'm so proud of them all! She was thrilled to see that all of class 1-A managed to make it past the first round, along with most of class 1-B. Touya would be proud of them too if he could see this.

I wonder how they're all doing in their own battles...

Chapter Text

Veronica took a sip of her lemonade as Midnight announced the next event; a Calvary battle. She raised an eyebrow as the pro hero explained the rules before announcing the points system.

"Izuku Midoriya placed first in the obstacle race, so he'll be worth 10 million points."

Veronica spat out her lemonade. Wiping her mouth, she watched as the other first years turned on the green haired boy, eyes filled with determination. Poor guy. They're all going to be gunning for him now.

She floated around above the crowd, watching as everyone began to form teams. A lot of the students crowded around Katsuki, trying to convince him to team up with them. Glancing over to Shoto, Veronica noticed that he'd already formed a decent team.

Iida, Kaminari, and Momo had quickly volunteered to join their classmate. I wonder how this is going to play out... Katsuki had joined forces with Kirishima, Mina, and Sero, making up a formidable team.

Veronica watched as Midoriya struggled to come up with a team of his own. She felt sorry for the guy, but she was sure he'd pull through. Before long, he'd managed to find his own team, made up of Uraraka, Tokoyami and a pink haired girl from the support course. Interesting...

Veronica swam upwards, making her way through the void to a higher altitude. She wanted to be able to watch the battle freely, without having to follow any of the groups around.

Just as she'd settled into her new position, Present Mic began the countdown.

"3... 2... 1... Begin!"

Instantly everyone charged towards Midoriya's team, set on his 10 million points. Anyone who managed to snag his headband would only have to keep it away from everyone else to win.

Veronica relaxed in the air, watching peacefully as the battle ensued. She observed class 1-A's movements closely, assessing their strategies as they fought. I want to be able to provide each of them with some insights once the Sports Festival is over.

Katsuki provided the most amusement, with his vendetta against the class 1-B students. I'll have to ask Touya about that blond kid... His copy quirk is intriguing. I wonder what would happen if he tried to copy my void walking quirk...

It pretty well took Katsuki out of the fight for Midoriya's team, leaving Shoto as his main opponent.

They were both doing very well until... until something caught Veronica's eye; something that seemed to go unnoticed by the others.

She gasped as she saw a flicker of Shoto's flame, quickly extinguished by Midoriya's attack. Tears sprang to her eyes as her heart began to feel heavy in her chest.

It's been so long... He didn't even think about it. He acted instinctively. Memories flooded Veronica's mind, her vision becoming blurry, the fight below forgotten.

The incident had happened months after she'd started at her private boarding school. Veronica had come home one weekend to visit, as usual, only to find that so much had changed.

Shoto hadn't come to greet her at the door like he normally did, and she soon found out why. Veronica had broken down into a mess of tears and worry upon seeing his bandaged eye, compliments of his mentally unstable mother.

Anger seared through her at the memory. Shoto had become so closed off from that point on. It had taken months for him to warm up to her again, and even then he was clearly never going to be the same.

Shoto had blamed his father for his mother's discretions, vowing to never again use his fire quirk in battle. In doing so, he only managed to limit himself, and make the situation worse.

Veronica's fists clenched at her sides as she fought to rein in her emotions. She had blamed his mother for his injuries. It was by her hand that he was hurt; her will.

It shouldn't have mattered what Endeavour had done... She should have never raised her hand against a child, especially not one of her own. After years of Veronica's own abuse, something like this was inexcusable, though it was an opinion she'd kept to herself.

The buzzer signifying the end of the Calvary Battle sounded, making Veronica gasp in surprise. She shook her head, riding it of the horrendous memories as she refocused her attention on the Sports Festival.

She looked at the scoreboard, noticing that Shoto's team managed to take first place, while Katsuki's team claimed second.

Is that... a General course student? Veronica hadn't been paying close enough attention to the other fighters, so the third place team was a bit surprising. Midoriya's team managed to snag fourth, meaning that they survived the second round, miraculously.

Veronica took in a deep breath, stretching as her body slowly relaxed back into its natural state. I should go and find Shoto for lunch. He'll probably be feeling pretty conflicted after that match.


Veronica floated through the void, looking for Shoto as the first years filed out of the stadium. Where is he? She sighed in frustration, going to look for him at the other exits.

"You brought me here, now what?"

Midoriya's voice drew her attention. That's strange. I wonder what's going on. She drifted through the walls until she was floating near the ceiling of one of the exit halls.

Midoriya and Shoto stood opposite each other, both leaning back against their respective walls. Veronica became uneasy as a suffocating silence filled the hall, both boys staring each other down.

"Well, we should probably eat soon," Midoriya shifted around nervously. "The cafeteria's going to be busy..."

Shoto remained silent, his expression unreadable.

"Ah, don't you think?" Midoriya continued, trying to gain a response from Shoto. He gulped, his anxiety peeking as Shoto refused to respond.

Veronica shifted in the Void, uncertain. It was the first time she'd seen Shoto so... intimidating.

Katsuki shook his head. He was beginning to think it was pointless, following the two of them when they took off from everyone else. He went to move from his hiding place around the corner when Shoto finally spoke.

"I was overwhelmed... and it made me break the promise I made to myself a long time ago."

Veronica's heart hurt as she watched the scene unfold. Is he finally going to open up to someone? She felt a twinge of jealousy at Shoto's confession, wishing that he would have chosen to confide in her instead.

She watched as Shoto took his left hand from his pocket and raised it in front of himself, studying it as if it didn't belong to him.

"Iida and Kaminari..." Shoto began. "Yayorozu and Tokoyami, Uraraka... None of them felt it... At that moment, I was the only one who could sense your true power. It reminded me of something... Experiencing All Might's quirk."

Surprise filled Veronica. He's right. I didn't notice it at first, but it was very similar...

"Oh yeah? Okay... Is that all?" Midoriya shifted around again, clearly distressed about where the conversation was going.

Shoto's eyes remained focused on his hand. "I'm saying that the power coming from you felt the same as All Might's. Midoriya, tell me..." Shoto raised his head as he lowered his hand, narrowing his eyes at Midoriya. "Are you really All Might's secret love child or something?"

Chapter Text

Veronica choked on air at Shoto's question as Midoriya stood shell shocked. "Am I... WHAT?!"

"Well, are you?" Veronica stared wide-eyed at Shoto as he demanded his classmate's answer, his expression dead serious.

"No, no way! That's not it at all!" Midoriya frantically denied Shoto's claims. "But I guess even if I was I'd totally say that I wasn't, so you probably won't believe me no matter what, I bet. Anyway, I promise you've got the wrong idea."

Shoto lowered his head, thinking about Midoriya's answer. Veronica was at a loss for words. How did he even come to that conclusion? Is there something I've missed?

"And why would you even think that about me?" Midoriya voiced similar thoughts.

Shoto looked to Midoriya once more. "That's not it at all is interesting wording. It suggests there is something between you two that you're not supposed to talk about."

Midoriya looked away from his classmate, unsure of how to handle the situation.

Shoto lowered his head once more, his voice becoming melancholic. "My father is the hero Endeavour."

Veronica and Midoriya both looked to Shoto, surprised.

"You must have heard of him, which means you're aware that he's the number 2 Hero." Shoto looked up, anger evident in his grey and turquoise eyes. "So if you're connected to the number 1 Hero All Might in some way, that would mean... That I have even more reason to beat you."

Shoto looked away as he continued. "My old man is ambitious, he aims for the top. He used his power to make a name for himself as a Hero, but he was never able to best All Might, so the Symbol of Peace is living proof of his failure. He's still at it though, trying to take down All Might... One way or another."

"I-I'm not really sure what you're getting at..." Midoriya shook his head, confused. "What are you trying to tell me, Todoroki?"

Veronica knew how it looked. To anyone else, it sounded as is Shoto was saying that his father was acting as a villain, trying to take down All Might by any means necessary.

But she knew the truth. It weighed heavily on her heart. It was the reason why Veronica and Shoto were together after all.

Shoto looked at Midoriya, a pained expression crossing his face briefly. "Have you ever heard of... quirk marriages?"

Katsuki stiffened. He's not implying what I think he is, is he? No way in hell is he with her just for her quirk...

Shoto continued, albeit a little more hesitantly. "They became a problem in the first few generations after superpowers became widespread. There were those who sought out potential mates solely with the intention of creating powerful children. Many people were forced into relationships. They were simply viewed as old fashioned arranged marriages, but clearly, it was unethical."

"My father has not only a rich history of accomplishments but plenty of money to throw at his problems. He bought my mother's relatives to get his hands on her quirk, and now he's raising me to usurp All Might. It's so annoying..."

Tears began to stream down Veronica's face. It was almost unbearable to watch, but she couldn't bring herself to leave.

"I know for a fact that this is the case for Veronica as well..." Shoto's hands fisted at his sides. "My father arranged for us to be wed at a young age, promising copious amounts of money to her guardian in exchange for her."

The air was sucked from Veronica's lungs as Shoto spoke, voicing one of her greatest fears. He knows. He knows that I'm a paid for bride...

It took all of Katsuki's will power not to push off from the wall and charge towards Shoto. That bastard bought her hand in marriage?!

"I refuse to be a tool for that scumbag... I will not let Veronica suffer the same fate as my mother," Shoto began to shake with anger. "In every memory of my mother, I only see her crying..."

Shoto raised his left hand to cover the jagged scar that surrounded his eye. "I remember that she called my left side unbearable... before she poured boiling water on my face."

Veronica let loose a sob as Midoriya gasped in horror at Shoto's story.

"The reason I picked a fight with you was to show my old man what I was capable of doing... without having to rely on his damn fire quirk." Shoto took a deep breath, calming himself as he lowered his hand from his face. "You see, I'm going to show him that I reject his power and that I can take first place without using it."

Determination filled Shoto as he turned from Midoriya and began to walk out of the stadium's tunnel. "You're obviously connected to All Might, even if you won't tell me about it. But no matter how fiercely you come at me in the future, I will defeat you using only my right side. I can assure you of that."

Midoriya quickly chased after Shoto. "Hey, wait!"

Shoto stopped in his tracks but refused to turn to look at his classmate. Midoriya stopped a few feet behind Shoto, taking a breath to prepare himself.

"I'm only here because others have supported me. I've been really lucky." Midoriya looked to his own hands as if he'd find the answers within them. "In fact, I've had even more help since I've come to UA."

Midoriya clenched his fists, his determination slowly building. "All Might is constantly saving people with a fearless smile... he's the greatest hero, and I want to be just like him. In order to do that, I have to be strong enough to become number 1."

The wind began to pick up, ruffling Shoto's multicolored hair as he turned to face Midoriya, his green eyes meeting Shoto's. "I know that my motivation seems stupid compared to yours, but still... I can't lose this either. I owe it to everyone who's supported me to try my best. You declared war on me earlier... well right back at you... I'm going to beat you."

Shoto eyed Midoriya briefly before turning to continue on his way to the cafeteria, the green haired boy not far behind.

Veronica was a mess. It felt like the world was slowly caving in around her, her breathing becoming labored.

He knows. He's known all along. Has he just been indulging me for my own sake? Does he really feel nothing for me? Is he going to refuse to marry me because of his father?

Katsuki pushed off from his hiding place in a huff. You've got to be fucking kidding me. He paused, glancing around. Something seemed... off.

He turned to the empty tunnel. "You're here... aren't you?"

Shock rocketed through Veronica at Katsuki's words. How did he...? With a heavy heart, she merged back into reality, allowing herself to fall to the ground.

"OI! Watch it will you?!" Katsuki jumped forward, snatching her from the air. She refused to look at him as he placed her on her feet. "What the hell is wrong with you?"

Veronica pushed away from him before starting to walk away. I can't deal with this right now.

Katsuki grabbed her by her wrist, preventing her from leaving. "What the hells going on with you?"

"Let me go, Katsuki," Veronica's voice shook, her emotions barely contained.

"Like hell!" He tugged on her wrist, surprising her as she lost her balance and fell towards him as he pulled her into his chest. Veronica kept her head down, her spirit too broken to fight him.

"Look at me, damn it!" Katsuki grabbed her chin, forcing her to look him in the eye. He was almost unrecognizable through the tears.

Katsuki swore, his crimson eyes filling with worry as he tugged her head to his shoulder. "It's okay to cry."

That was all it took. Veronica's body shook as it was wracked with sobs, her cries muffled by Katsuki's shirt. "He hates me!" She wailed, wallowing in her own defeat. "He won't marry me. It's what his father wants, so of course, he won't do it!"

Katsuki snorted. "Don't laugh at my pain," she mumbled weakly into his shoulder.

Katsuki shook his head. "Are you really that stupid?"

Veronica bristled at his remark. God, this was a terrible idea. How did I ever think he'd actually care about my plight?

"Calm down," Katsuki rubbed her back with his one hand. "What he said about his father, it should only make you feel even more sure of his feelings."

"Wha...?" Veronica raised her head to look at Katsuki, confused. "What are you talking about?"

Katsuki huffed in annoyance. Do I really have to spell it out for her? Why do I have to be the one to help that damn IcyHot?

Katsuki hated having to defend his rival, but anything was better than the look of despair written all over Veronica's face. "He's all about rebelling against his father, right? If that's the case, he wouldn't even entertain the idea of marrying you let alone dating you, dumbass. He's doing it because he genuinely likes you, not because he's being forced to."

"Oh..." Veronica's breathing became easier as Katsuki's words slowly sank in.

"That story about his mom..." Veronica became rigid once more as Katsuki inquired about Shoto. "To be driven to such extremes... is his father really that much of a monster?"

Veronica sucked in a breath, nodding as she looked away from Katsuki. He thought for a moment, putting two and two together. "That's why you won't tell him about your own abuse, isn't it?"

"Yeah," she let out a shaky breath. "I can't bring myself to put that on him as well."

Katsuki buried his face in her golden hair, regret filling him. "I'm sorry. You've been struggling through this all alone, just to protect the people around you, and the second I saw you I tried to drag it out of you."

Veronica stood there, frozen in shock in his arms. Is he honestly apologizing about his actions?

Katsuki pushed her away from his body, his crimson eyes burning into her deep blue ones. "But you're not alone anymore, okay? You don't have to fight through this without help. I'll be here, whenever you need me. You have my number. I don't care if it's the middle of the god damn night, just call me if you ever need anything."

A small smile slowly spread across Veronica's face, her heart swelling. "Thank you, Katsuki."

Chapter Text

"There you are!"

Veronica looked up from her phone to see Nanami and Touya entering the Homework Heroes Clubroom.

"Seriously, we've been looking everywhere for you!" Nanami huffed as she plopped down on the couch beside Veronica.

"Yeah, what the hell woman!" Touya crossed his arms as he came to stand in front of her. "Are you skipping out on the Sports Festival? Where have you been?"

"Oh, sorry," Veronica rubbed the back of her neck sheepishly. "I guess I should have let you guys know earlier."

Nanami quirked an eyebrow. "Let us know what?"

"I'm kind of not taking part in the Sports Festival this year..."

"No shit, Sherlock," Touya deadpanned. "I thought we were past the keeping everything to ourselves bullshit."

"Touya," Nanami hissed at him. "Be nice. We knew it wasn't going to be that simple all the time. She's still got to get used to trusting us."

Veronica's eyes widened slightly in surprise. "No, no, it's nothing like that, honest! It's just that I didn't want to bother you guys with anything while you were gearing up for the festival, and once the decision was made, it kind of slipped my mind..." Veronica laughed nervously, remembering exactly why she'd forgotten about it.

Nanami sighed. "Okay, I'm not even going to attempt to broach the subject on why you should have told us anyways," she gave Veronica a sharp look, "but could you please just tell us what's going on now?"

"Oh, yeah." Veronica took a deep breath, bracing herself for their reactions. "So, long story short, I don't actually want to be a pro hero anymore."

Both of their eyes widened in shock as Veronica continued. "I actually want to be a teacher for the pro hero courses. Principle Nezu caught wind of that, and they created a program for me that would allow me to get my teaching degree while gaining experience as a pro hero. It was an opportunity that I'd be stupid to pass up, but it meant that I wouldn't be allowed to participate in the Sports Festival this year." Veronica shrugged. "And that's about it."

Touya shook his head, trying to gather his thoughts. "At this point, I probably shouldn't be surprised by anything anymore, but you keep throwing things at us that I just don't expect."

Nanami snorted. "Well, that's an understatement." Her golden eyes found Veronica's and she offered her an encouraging smile. "At least you know for sure that you're doing what you want now. It's a step in the right direction at least."

"Yeah," Veronica smiled back at her, a little more confident with her decision.

"And what about the other thing?"

Veronica's smile quickly faded at Nanami's question. Of course she was going to ask. Today is the day to make my final decision. "If it's alright, I'll come to stay with you whenever my aunt is home."

"Good." Nanami smiled triumphantly. "When is she supposed to be back again?"

"Tomorrow afternoon."

"Well now that that's out of the way," Touya moved to sit beside Nanami on the couch, dispelling the tenser atmosphere. "Do you mind helping us figure out how to win this damn thing?"

Veronica stared at Touya, wide-eyed, before bursting into a fit of laughter. "I heard that you guys were having some trouble this year."

"Hey! It's not funny!" Touya fumed. "It's like they came out of nowhere! Weren't they way below our skill level last year?"

Nanami rolled her eyes. "Let's be honest here Touya. You were too busy focusing on catching up to Veronica's skill level that you didn't notice everyone else catching up to you."

"Someone has to pick up the slack and kick your ass this year," Veronica taunted. "We wouldn't want you to get too full of yourself just because I'm not competing."

Nanami's laughter filled the club room. "Shush you!" Touya jabbed her in her side, making her squeak in surprise. "Seriously though, Mirio is almost as hard to get ahold of as you."

"He's right." Nanami sighed as her laughter died down. "You guys haven't really seen him training in class, but he's much more skilled with his quirk now. It makes trying to fight him head on a hell of a lot harder."

"Man, could you imagine him fighting Veronica in the tournament? With both of them being able to become untouchable, how the hell would that match go?" Touya whistled lowly. "I wish I could see that."

Nanami rolled her eyes. "Veronica would still win, obviously."

"Uh, Nana, I think you have a little too much confidence in my abilities," Veronica laughed nervously.

She shrugged. "Nah, I think I've watched you fight enough to know how it'd go."

"If you say so..."

"So how's lover boy doing?" Touya waggled his eyebrows as he changed the subject.

"Touya!" Nanami smacked his arms as Veronica's cheeks turned pink.

"Oh come on babe," he snaked his arm around Nanami's waist. "You know you're just as curious as I am."

Veronica raised an eyebrow at their exchange. From what she'd been told, their coffee date had gone very well. They were still adamant that they were just testing the waters of dating each other, but she could easily tell that it was quickly developing into much more.

"Shoto's doing fine." Veronica frowned. "At least, I think he is..."

"Oh?" Nanami straightened in Touya's grasp, realizing that she was talking about more than just the Sports Festival. "Did something happen?"

"Yeah, kind of." Veronica sucked in a breath as she tried to organize her thoughts and figure out how to explain it all to them. "He's made it to the final event, but something happened in the last one. He went to use his flames."

Her friends' eyes widened to the size of saucers.

"You're kidding?!" Nanami screeched. "I thought you said he NEVER used his fire quirk. This is a big deal!"

"Yeah, what the hell?" Touya narrowed his eyes at Veronica. "Why the hell aren't you with him now then? Lunch is almost over, shouldn't you be making sure that he's okay at least?"

Veronica swallowed hard as guilt made its way into her stomach. "Yeah...that's the thing though..." She did her best to recount the events from the beginning of lunch, right up to the point of Katsuki comforting her afterwards.

"My god woman..." Nanami gasped. "Do you just naturally attract drama or were you cursed as a child?"

Touya pinched Nanami's arm. "Ow, Hey! What was that for?" She spun in his hold.

"Now who's being inconsiderate?" He frowned at his girlfriend.

Nanami looked back to Veronica, noticing the tears she was fighting to keep back. "Ah, crap. I'm sorry, Veronica.

"No," Veronica shook her head. "It's okay, I can understand your shock."

"Are you going to be okay?"

"Yeah," Veronica forced a smile as she looked to her friends. "I just didn't want to bother Shoto after all of that. I'll leave that discussion for after the festival."

"That's probably a good call," Touya nodded. He thought for a moment. "Oh, you said that Bakugo helped you afterwards? How's that whole dilemma thing going?"

Katsuki...? Veronica's face turned red as the image of Katsuki kissing her on the couch they were currently sitting on flooded her brain. "O-o-oh, w-well that's a... a different matter altogether."

Touya raised an eyebrow and Nanami's golden eyes went wide once more. "No way... No way! Did you guys have sex?!"

"Nanami!" Veronica shrieked in pure terror, covering her face in embarrassment. "What the hell?! Why would I do that?!"

"Remember that conversation we had about jealousy looking pretty good on some people?" She wiggled a finger at Veronica. "Come on, you and I both know you want to."

Veronica shrunk back into the couch, mortified. What the hell?! What kind of person do you think I am Nana?!

"Geez, Nana! Give the poor girl a break would you?" Touya scolded her. "And if you're seriously going to be talking about sexual experiences I'm leaving right now. I don't want to hear about any of that stuff from you two."

Touya stood to leave but Nanami wrapped her arms around his waist. "No please, I'll behave, I promise! No sex talk."

"There's no sex talk to begin with," Veronica finally huffed out. "It was just a kiss okay? Calm down."

Touya sighed and sunk back down onto the couch as Nanami crawled her way onto his lap to prevent any further escape. It almost made Veronica jealous. How can they already be so relaxed and open around each other? I'd spontaneously combust if I sat in Shoto's lap.

"Okay, so as you were saying," Nanami smiled. "Just a kiss? As in he kissed you or you kissed him?"

Veronica rubbed the back of her neck as she avoided Nanami's gaze. "More like he asked and I didn't say no..."

"Oh my god! Oh my god!" Nanami bounced happily in Touya's lap.

"Calm down you psycho," he grabbed Nanami's waist to hold her in place. "You're going to scare her off."

Nanami turned slightly to stick her tongue out at him before continuing her questioning. "So when did this happen? I know you guys got friendly after he gave you your bracelet, but I didn't think you'd really hung out with him since."

"Actually, that happened Saturday after school," Veronica smiled sheepishly. "He was also the one who helped me make my final decision on the teaching thing too."

Touya stiffened as Nanami smiled widely. "Oh wow! That so-"

"After school on Saturday? Like right after school on Saturday? While you were looking after the club room?" Touya's body slowly began to fill with dread.

"Uh, yeah..." Veronica eyed him, confused. "No one was around, so-"

Nanami jumped in surprised as Touya started swearing profusely. "Whoa! Cam down, sailor," Nanami turned to look at him. "You kiss your mother with that mouth?"

"Veronica," Touya ignored Nanami, looking over her head to meet Veronica's eyes, his expression grave. "Between the time school was over on Saturday and the Sports Festival this morning, have you seen Todoroki at all?"

Veronica's chest tightened at Touya's intensity. What the hell is going on? She shook her head. "No. He's been busy training since then, so I hadn't really heard anything from him."

Touya sucked in a harsh breath. "Oh fuck. This is bad."

"What the hell is going on?" Nanami demanded. "Quit keeping us in the dark, you ass. You're driving us insane over here."

"I saw him on Saturday after school," Touya rushed to explain. "He was headed back to the school not long after I'd left. He asked if you would still be in the club room or out on the field training. He... he..." Touya swallowed the lump in his throat. "He said that he didn't have to train that night anymore... that he was going to go and surprise you."

For the second time that day, Veronica's whole world shattered.

The room around her fell away, Nanami's flabbergasted words shifting into a low hum. Slowly, everything was replaced with an empty darkness.

Am I dead? Did I die of shock? Am I going to hell?

"Veronica! Get ahold of yourself!" Nanami shook Veronica by her shoulders, jerking her back to reality. Nana was now sitting in front of Veronica on her knees, desperately trying to get a response from her.

Veronica pushed Nanami's hands away, quickly standing up. "I need to go and see Shoto."

"Oh nope, no you don't," Touya leapt forward from the couch, grabbing onto Veronica's wrist. He knew that she couldn't merge into the void if he kept a hand on her. "Bad idea, Veronica. That's a very bad idea."

"But he must have seen us," she wailed. "I have to go and talk to him and explain-"

"Jesus, woman, would you stop and think for a second!" Touya gripped Veronica's shoulders. "We're in the middle of the god damn Sports Festival. Lunch is over and they'll be taking the time to gear up for the final round now. He's got more than enough going on already and I can guarantee that you barging in there and trying to fix things is just going to make it a million times worse."

"I hate to admit it, but he's right," Nanami placed a hand on top of Touya's. "You guys need to have a really long, private conversation about all of this, and there's not nearly enough time before the next event for that to happen. Anything more is just going to make it worse and wreck his concentration. You don't want to risk he's placement in the tournament, do you?"

Veronica looked down at her feet as tears streamed down her face. "No."

"Then wait," Touya let his hands fall from Veronica's shoulders as Nanami hugged her from behind. "Talk to him about it, about everything, when it's all over. Just like you'd originally planned to."

"Okay," Veronica sniffled as her friends comforted her.

"Besides," Touya looked away as he ran a hand through his bright blue hair. "There's something else you should know."


"They what?!" Veronica yelled after Touya finally explained what had happened during the fight between Shoto and Katsuki.

"Hey, Veronica, calm down."

"Calm down? Calm down?!" Veronica screamed in anger and frustration as she stomped around the club room. "They think that they can decide who gets to be with me based off of a fucking fight?!"

"Veronica-"

"What am I? A fucking trophy?!" She kicked at the meeting room table. Is that what the Sports Festival is to them now? A tournament to see who gets to keep me? "Who the hell do they think they are?! I'm my own person god damn it! I get to decide who I want to be with! I- I..."

Veronica stopped mid-rampage, huffing as calm slowly set in. The room became deathly silent, and Nanami and Touya looked to each other, concerned. The quiet was a far worse sign than the destruction.

Veronica slowly turned to her friends, a smile stretching across her face. "That settles it," she laughed, the hollow sound echoing eerily around the room. "I'm going to murder them."

Chapter Text

It would be so easy. All Veronica had to do was pull them into the Void without worrying about keeping them alive. No one would suspect a thing. It'd just be as if they suddenly vanished, and even if she did get caught, she could just live out the rest of her days in the Void. Yes... this is all coming together...

Nanami and Touya tackled Veronica to the ground, knocking the wind out of her.

"She's finally snapped!" Nanami shouted. "The years of pressure have finally gotten to her!"

"Let me go, god damn it!" Veronica screamed, thrashing around in their hold. "It won't hurt them, I promise. It'll be quick and painless."

"Don't even think about it, Veronica," Touya tightened his grip on her.

"Let go! They need to die!"

By the time they managed to calm Veronica down, it was almost time for the final event.

"You good?" Touya huffed as he laid sprawled out on the club room floor beside Veronica and Nanami.

"Yeah." Veronica drew in a shaky breath. "I'll manage."

"You know, I think that's the first time I've ever seen you angry," Nanami laughed. "It was kind of refreshing."

Veronica shot her a sideways glance before sitting up. "I guess." She sighed in defeat. "I'm sorry. I probably wore you guys out and you still have the final event."

"Nah, it's okay," Touya smiled. "Just means that if I lose it's all your fault."

"Pfft, yeah, okay," Nanami rolled her eyes as she sat up. "You're just going to use this as an excuse now if you don't get first place."

"Obviously," Touya grinned up at the ceiling.

Veronica let out a small laugh and shook her head. "I guess we should get going then."


She'd meant to go to the class 1-A bleachers, honestly. It wasn't her fault that her body natural drifted towards the waiting rooms instead. I won't say anything... I'll just check on him to make sure that he's okay. I won't even leave the Void.

Shoto was in waiting room number 2. Veronica watched for a moment as he stretched out his body, preparing for his first one on one match. He looks okay, right?

She sighed. What the hell am I doing?

Her eyes were quickly drawn to the screen in the waiting room as the first match began. Midoriya was facing off against that kid from the general studies course. What was his quirk again?

Veronica scrunched up her nose as she watched the match unfold. No way, mind control? She bit her lip as she watched Midoriya. How'd he get out of that hold? I don't even think I'd be able to stop someone from controlling my mind...

Veronica's attention was brought back to Shoto as he finished prepping and left the room, headed towards the arena. She trailed behind him in the Void like a lost puppy. God, what has my life come to? Now I'm even stalking my own boyfriend.

Veronica froze as she followed Shoto around a corner, nearly walking right through him as he stopped.

Endeavour was leaning against one of the walls of the hallway, and Veronica could practically feel the hated seeping off of Shoto now.

"What do you want?" Shoto demanded.

"You're acting disgraceful, Shoto." Veronica's hands fisted at her sides as Endeavour spoke. Shoto quickly continued walking down the hall, trying his best to keep his emotions in check.

"If you had simply used the power in your left side, you would have had an overwhelming victory in both of the first rounds." Shoto ignored him as he passed Endeavour's looming form.

"It's time to stop this childish rebellion of yours."

Shoto gritted his teeth, his anger searing through his body. Veronica's whole body twitched. One touch, that's all it would take. One touch and... poof, no more Endeavour.

"You have a duty to surpass that imbecile All Might. Do you understand what I'm saying? You're different from your siblings. You're my greatest masterpiece."

He's only different because you forced him to be. Veronica's fingers practically tingled as she walked past Endeavour. It took all of her will power not to reach out and do exactly what her body was begging her to do.

Just a tap. Shoto would be oh so happy. My Katsuki dilemma would be gone, because who would want to be with a murderer? No one. But Shoto would only love me more. I'd be his saviour... he would run away with me.

"Is that all you have to say to me you bastard?"

Shoto's words snapped Veronica out of her trance. She quickly pulled her half outstretched hand away from Endeavour, terrified by her own actions. Was I really going to...?

"I'll win this match and advance using only Mom's quirk. I won't give you the pleasure of seeing me use yours."

Veronica ran after Shoto. It was the only thing she could do to keep herself sane.

"Even if that works for you in this tournament, you'll soon find the limits of that power."

Shoto's face hardened at his father's words. If looks could kill, Endeavour wouldn't have stood a chance.

Veronica's anger flared as she glanced back at the number 2 Hero, but she stamped it down as she followed Shoto through the halls and to the arena.

She remained in the exit tunnel as he made his way to the stage for his first match. It didn't last long.

As Sero tried to wrap Shoto in his tape and swing him out of bounds, the stage was quickly covered in an overwhelming amount of ice.

Veronica's heart hurt as she watched Shoto fill half of the stadium with ice. It was more than unnecessary, but after facing his father, she hadn't really expected anything less.

Shoto... I'm so sorry.


Veronica slowly made her way back to class 1-A's section in the stadium bleachers. Shifting out of the Void, she entered the area filled with first years. She regretted it instantly. She was already beginning to feel so broken, and keeping up a cheerful act wasn't something she was sure she could muster at this point.

"There you are," Katsuki turned in his seat as he heard her approach. "Where the hell have you been?"

Veronica ignored him, making her way past him to find a seat for herself away from the other students.

"Hey, Veronica!"

Veronica raised her head and plastered on a faker than plastic smile as she looked to Uraraka. She didn't seem to notice as Veronica returned her cheerful wave but remained planted in her secluded seat.

Katsuki clenched his jaw at the interaction. He felt sick. Veronica's fake smile was all he needed to see to know that her day had clearly taken a turn for the worse. Hasn't she been through enough already?

His hands twitched, his body filling with the need to go and comfort her, but he knew better. Instead, Katsuki settled for watching Veronica like a hawk throughout the following battles. It didn't go unnoticed by him that Shoto never showed up to join his classmates.

Veronica did her best to focus on the battles that followed Shoto's, but her heart just wasn't in it anymore. The matches became a mess of blurred images and jumbled thoughts as she tried to work through her own emotions. How the hell am I going to face Shoto after all of this?

Katsuki'd had enough. By the time he stood to go and prepare for his own match, Veronica was practically a zombie. Her blank stare was filling him with dread as each second ticked by.

Before he could think twice about his actions, he leaned down and grabbed onto Veronica's wrist as he passed her. She barely had time to react before Katsuki was dragging her out of the viewing area and down the hall, unnoticed by his peers.

Veronica didn't even have it in her to fight him anymore. She trailed along behind Katsuki in silence as he lead her towards waiting room number 1.

The second they'd entered the room and the door clicked shut behind them, Katsuki tugged Veronica into his chest. She stiffened slightly in surprise but quickly relaxed into his hold as his arms snaked around her.

They stood like that for a moment, Veronica inhaling his smokey-cinnamon scent as she buried her face in his chest. He rested his chin on top of her head, his heartbeat thumping against her ear.

It was almost hypnotic, the way his presence and arms around her seemed to calm her nerves and wash away her fears so easily. Tears sprung to Veronica's eyes, threatening to spill over. There was only one other person who could make her feel this way, so relaxed and at home in his embrace.

"I know that you won't tell me what's going on right now, so I won't bother trying to drag it out of you," Katsuki started slowly as he began rubbing a hand up and down Veronica's back soothingly. "But I know that it has to do with him. You wouldn't be acting this way if it didn't."

God, how do you know Katsuki? How do you know me so well already? Am I that easy to read?

Katsuki took a deep breath, inhaling her sweet vanilla scent. "Just remember that no matter what happens, I'm here for you when you need me."

Veronica sniffled into his chest but nodded, swallowing down her emotions. She looked up at Katsuki, trying her best to offer up a genuine smile. "Yeah, I know. Good luck out there."

Chapter Text

Veronica returned to the class 1-A bleachers, her steps a little lighter. Unfortunately, the calm state Katsuki had put her in didn't last long.

Veronica settled back into her seat, watching as Katsuki and Uraraka stood opposite each other in the arena. It was going to be a tough match for the small brunette. Veronica knew that she wouldn't win; couldn't, really.

Katsuki's drive to place first was far too strong. Not only was it his aim to become the number one hero, but his relationship with Veronica was supposedly on the line as well. Besides, his skill level far surpassed Uraraka's.

Uraraka fought valiantly though. Veronica watched with a small smile as she continued to launch herself at Katsuki, keeping low to the ground. He hadn't seemed to notice what she was up to yet.

Veronica was surprised when people from the crowd started yelling at Katsuki, calling him a villain for fighting so rough against his female classmate. Her body went rigid. Do they really not see what's going on?

The fight was reminding Veronica more and more and her fight with Touya the previous year. The crowd had been just as horrified as he'd continued to throw bright blue shards of energy at her, her blood painting the arena ground red.

She's got spirit, I'll give her that.

Before long Uraraka launched her final attack, surprising Katsuki. As chunks of rock barrelled down towards him, Veronica watched with narrowed eyes as he raised his left hand to the sky, bracing himself behind the wrist with his other hand.

Within seconds the stadium was filled with an enormous blast, shrouding everything in smoke as pebbles began to rain down.

Katsuki prepared for a second round against his classmate, but Veronica noticed how he favoured his right hand now. That must have hurt him. She frowned, rubbing her wrist in her lap in sympathy.

As Katsuki was declared the winner of his match, Veronica stood, leaving the class 1-A bleachers. I should go and look for Shoto. He should have been here by now.


Veronica huffed in frustration. Where the hell is he?! She begrudgingly made her way back to where class 1-A was seated. Shoto was nowhere to be found, and she was beginning to worry. He's probably avoiding me.

Katsuki grabbed Veronica's wrist as she went to pass him, surprising her as he pulled her towards the seat beside him... which was occupied.

"Move it, Sparky," Katsuki barked at Kaminari, who jumped in surprise but quickly shuffled down with Sero as the ash blond threatened to blast him.

The boys stared in pure shock as Veronica took Kaminari's seat beside Katsuki, remaining silent as she pulled his left hand into her lap. She silently went to work on massaging Katsuki's wrist, hoping that her efforts would help to ease his pain if only a little.

A small smile flashed across Katsuki's face as Veronica's eyes focused on the arena below. Even if her current thoughts and worries were about Shoto's coming battle, he was happy to know that she was thinking of him in some way. Plus, her small and soft warm fingers felt like heaven over his injured wrist.

He didn't even have to voice his pain and yet Veronica had clearly been focused enough on him during his match to notice. His heart swelled as he watched her out of the corner of his eye, her bottom lip pulled unconsciously between her teeth as she worried away at it.

Katsuki swallowed hard, remember how sweet those light pink lips had tasted only a few days earlier. He was so distracted that he almost didn't notice the beginning of the match.

Veronica was so zoned into the battle below between Midoriya and Shoto that she didn't notice Kirishima enter the area until he noisily started chatting with the guys.

Her eye twitched slightly as she tried to focus on her boyfriend as he shot ice at his classmate, who continued to counter. The noise was becoming unbearable.

"You're too loud."

The guys whipped their heads towards Veronica with wide eyes as she stood, dropping Katsuki's hand.

"I can't focus with you guys talking."

It took Katsuki a moment to register what Veronica had planned, but by then he was too late. She vanished into thin air before he could grab onto her.

Katsuki swore. "Great fucking going guys!"

Veronica walked through the seats to the edge of the bleachers, never tearing her eyes from the scene below.

Shoto shot another massive row of ice at Midoriya. Midoriya countered his attack once more, only to be met with Shoto as he leapt forward while Midoriya was distracted. Midoriya jumped away, attempting to dodge Shoto's ice as he caught his foot.

The green haired boy became desperate as he used a punch to break the ice and push Shoto across the arena with the force. His arm was clearly broken now, along with all of the fingers on his right hand.

Shoto used another ice attack, only for it to be countered once more by Midoriya as he used his already broken fingers. Shoto barely recovered, making a wall of ice behind himself as he was pushed to the edge of the arena.

Veronica's fingers twisted in the hem of her shirt as she watched with bated breath. He wasn't using his fire, not even to counter the backlash of his ice.

Shoto's left side was beginning to frost over, his movements slowing down drastically. Shoto, please! It's okay to use your fire.

Shoto charged at Midoriya. The second he was within arms reach, he leapt forward. Midoriya took advantage and threw a punch at Shoto the second his right foot left the ground.

Veronica winced as Midoriya's punch hit home, driving right into Shoto's stomach. Shoto had at least managed to cover Midoriya's broken arm in ice.

Veronica automatically drifted closer, pushing through the wall and into the air as they switched to closer combat. Both of their movements were becoming lethargic, and she realized it was partially because of the conversation they were having.

She was halfway to the arena when...

"IT'S YOUR POWER!"

Midoriya's voice rang through the air, loud and clear. He's...

Realization surged through Shoto as his left side ignited in a burst of flames. Veronica let lose a broken sob as her boyfriend stood strong once more, his fire melting the ice from his right side.

Veronica covered her mouth as tears streamed down her face, her choked sobs echoing through the Void. He's back, my Sho-sho... he's finally back.

Shoto let loose a massive ice attack. Midoriya launched himself forward over the wall of ice, preparing to attack as Shoto shot a fire blast in quick succession.

The teachers tried to intervene as a massive explosion resulted, filling the stadium with smoke.

Veronica held her breath as the smoke began to clear. Midoriya was nowhere to be seen on the stage. She glanced around, noticing that he'd been thrown back against the far wall from the blast.

Veronica's eyes shot to Shoto, who stood with his body shaking, the left side of his shirt burnt off. He huffed in air, barely believing that he'd won.

Veronica launched herself through the air as Shoto was announced the winner, tackling him to the ground as she merged back into reality.

Shoto gasped in surprise as Veronica wrapped her arms around him, crying her eyes out into his hard chest.

"I'm so proud of you Shoto," she hiccuped, barely able to contain her emotions. "You did it! You used your fire!"

It didn't matter what had happened up until this point. Veronica's worries were thrown aside as she stared down at the dual haired boy below her.

He was back. The Shoto she'd first fallen for, the little boy who would chase her around the park with his ice and fire. The boy who would use his fire to keep her warm on cold days; the one who used his flames to etch their names into a tree as a declaration of everlasting love.

Shoto slowly snaked his arms around Veronica's body, pulling her tighter against him as she cried. He pushed them both up into a sitting position, burying his nose in her golden hair as she blubbered nonsense into his chest.

They couldn't stay in the arena though. Shoto pushed himself to his feet, pulling Veronica up with him. He dropped his arms from around her to take her hand instead, leading Veronica off of the stage as she sniffled and her crying finally stopped.

Chapter Text

Shoto lead Veronica towards the exit, his fingers intertwining with hers. She felt like she was on cloud nine, like everything was finally going to go back to normal.

As they passed through the exit, Shoto stopped, quickly tugging Veronica protectively behind himself. Confused, Veronica peered around his shoulder to see Endeavour blocking their path.

"What's the matter?" Endeavour gave Shoto a smug smile. "Not gonna tell me to get lost?"

Veronica narrowed her eyes at him but swallowed down her anger as Shoto gave her hand a squeeze.

"You need to learn to control your left side. It's dangerous to release so much energy like that." Endeavour spread his arms wide, smiling brightly at his son.

Veronica snorted behind Shoto. Are you fucking kidding me? You're going to feign concern now?

Shoto rubbed his thumb along Veronica's, drawing confidence from her defiant presence behind his own.

Endeavour ignored her. "But I'm glad that you're finally seeing reason. Now that you've abandoned your childish rebellion we can get back to what's important." He reached his hand out towards his son. "After you graduate you'll work by my side. I'll lead you down the path of the mighty, Shoto."

"I haven't abandoned anything." Shoto raised his left hand to look at it, refusing to meet his father's gaze. "You're a fool to think that my feelings could be so easily reversed. Instead, out there, for that one moment..."

Shoto fisted his left hand as he squeezed Veronica's with his right. "I forgot all about you."

Endeavour's eyes widened in surprise as Shoto pushed past him, pulling Veronica along with him. "Whether that's good or bad... whether it's the right thing to do... I don't know. Maybe I don't need you."

Veronica's heart swelled as Shoto lead her away from his father. Shoto... you've grown so much.

They walked down a few halls, away from everyone else, until Shoto found an open room and pulled her inside behind him.

As the door clicked behind them, Veronica suddenly found herself in Shoto's warm embrace. He breathed in her scent, allowing the sweet aroma to wash over his body and soothe him.

"Shoto?" Veronica looked up at him questioningly. She wanted to ask him so many things about what he was feeling right now, but she wanted to make sure that he was okay first.

"Shhhh, just let me hold you," Shoto nuzzled his nose into her golden hair before pulling her to the ground with him.

Shoto shifted Veronica so that she was sitting in his lap facing the wall, his arms wrapping around her waist. She easily settled into his lap, too tired to feel embarrassed anymore as she closed her eyes and listened to his steady heartbeat.


Veronica passed through the hallways, searching until she found what she was looking for. The sight of the vending machine made her stomach growl. She'd packed plenty of snacks for the day of course, but they were all in the Void up in the bleachers.

Shoto had released Veronica after only a few minutes, claiming that he needed to be alone now to prepare for his next battle. Veronica had quickly obliged, wanting to find a certain first year to thank him anyways.

It would have to wait though since the poor guy had to go through surgery. Which left Veronica to focus on her next big concern; food.

A familiar figure greeted Veronica as she approached the machine. "Hey, Nanami!"

Nanami spun on her heels at Veronica's voice, a smile spreading across her face. "Hey, just the person I was looking for!"

Veronica quirked a brow at Nanami. "In the vending machines?"

Nanami rolled her eyes as Veronica came to a stop in front of her. "Ha ha, very funny. I'm allowed to grab a snack."

"Oh, I guess," Veronica smiled at her. "I take it you got your ass handed to you already?"

"Pretty freaking much," Nanami's shoulders slumped. "My second match was with Mirio, so I didn't stand a chance."

Veronica giggled. "How's Touya doing?"

"The bastard's still hanging in there." Nana huffed. "His next match is against Mirio too, so I'm hoping that he can sympathize shortly."

"You want him to lose?" Veronica fake gasped. "Wow, you're such a supportive girlfriend."

"Oh, kiss my ass," Nanami shoved her playfully. "Anyways, I wanted to see if you were free for a few minutes? My mom's here and I figured that it would be a good time to talk to her about your home situation now. I'm sure you'll have your hands full after the Sports Festival's over."

"Good call," Veronica nodded before shoving some change into the vending machine and selecting her favourite snack. She turned back to Nanami as she grabbed her food. "Lead the way."


Veronica had met Nanami's mother once or twice before in passing, but it was more than reassuring when the golden-eyed woman seemed to be a mirror image of her daughter. She made sure to talk things through with Veronica and come up with a game plan for her living arrangements.

She'd agreed not to file a report as long as Veronica was safe and didn't suffer any more injuries, hoping that once Veronica felt more assured of her own safety that she'd decide to do it herself.

She was gentle and kind, and Veronica felt a twinge in her heart as she realized that the woman reminded her of how her mother used to be.

It was agreed that Veronica would be fine to go home and pack tonight, then leave in the morning to go to Nanami's house before her aunt was set to arrive home. Veronica felt a lot more relieved with the whole situation now that a trustworthy adult was involved.

If nothing else went right in her life, at least she wouldn't have to put up with her aunt's abuse any longer.

Veronica hummed to herself as she made her way towards the infirmary, coming to a sudden stop as she saw a flash of familiar dark green hair dart behind a corner.

"Midoriya!" Veronica called, rushing after the first year as he turned to face her.

"Oh, hey Unmei," he flashed her a smile. "What's up?"

Veronica came to a halt in front of the severely injured boy before bowing deeply, making him jump back in surprise. "I just wanted to say thank you," she straightened, smiling at his slightly flustered figure.

"F-for what?"

"For helping Shoto," Veronica's eyes pricked slightly with tears. "I don't know what you said to him out there but... thank you." She wrapped her arms around herself as she fought to keep a smile on her face. "It's been so long since I've seen him this way, and I felt like I got a glimpse of the old Shoto; the real Shoto. I've tried, but it always seemed like nothing I did ever got through to him. So, thank you."

Apprehension crossed Midoriya's face as he watched her. "I understand. I'm just glad that I could help."

"Me too. I'm happy that he has a friend like you."


Veronica stretched as she returned to the class 1-A bleachers, feeling the days' events slowly dragging her down. And it's going to be even more hectic after...

"Yo, Prez!"

Veronica turned to see a very enthusiastic Kirishima smiling and waving her over to sit with him, Sero and Kaminari. She raised an eyebrow at him but obliged.

"Hey, I take it you lost your fight to Katsuki?" Veronica shot Kirishima a sympathetic smile before taking the seat between him and Kaminari.

"Yeah, but there's always next year," the redhead grinned. "For now, it just means that I get to cheer him on."

"I'm glad you're taking it so well." Veronica couldn't help but return his enthusiasm, it was so infectious.

"Of course! I'm a man after all."

Veronica let loose a snort that had her covering her mouth in slight embarrassment as the guys stared at her with wide eyes. Their reactions only made it worse as her laughter intensified.

"Wow, you're such a dork Kirishima," Veronica smiled brightly at him, making the redhead blush slightly.

"Heh, yeah..." Kirishima rubbed the back of his neck nervously. "I think I'm starting to see why Bakugo likes you so much."

"WHAT?!" Sero and Kaminari went bug-eyed as Veronica froze in her seat.

"Are you serious?! That's who he likes?!" Veronica shrunk back as Kaminari shouted over her.

"Dude," Sero shook his head at Kaminari.

Kaminari seemed to realize his mistake as he saw Veronica's smile fade. "Ah, no, that's not what I meant. I'm sure you're a great girl Unmei, I'm just surprised. Aren't you dating Todoroki?"

Veronica swallowed the lump that had formed in her throat. "Yeah... Oh look," she hastily changed the subject. "Shoto's match is about to start, so I'm going to go and get a closer look."

Veronica swiftly stood and excused herself from their group, making a getaway to go and stand against the railing as she focused her attention on the arena.

"Nice going," Sero smacked Kaminari's arm. "Way to make her feel even more uncomfortable about the whole thing."

"I didn't mean to, honest!"

Kirishima sighed. "Please don't tell Bakugo that I let his secret slip. He's going to murder me if he finds out."

Veronica gripped the railing tightly, the cool metal helping her to combat the heat that filled her face. Oh my god, Kirishima knows?! How much has Katsuki told him? She didn't want to know.

Veronica sucked in a breath to steady herself before switching her focus to Shoto as he walked onto the stage below. His opponent this match was Iida, and she was curious to see how he would handle facing off against Shoto.

Within seconds Shoto had a wall of ice on either side of Iida, blocking his path of escape as Shoto shot another ice attack. Iida quickly jumped over the attack, launching himself forward as he used his quirk to attack Shoto.

With the added boost of his engines, Shoto found it impossible to dodge Iida's kicks as he was knocked down to the ground, the impact making Veronica wince. Iida grabbed onto Shoto before making a break for the sidelines to throw him out of bounds.

But he was too late. Shoto latched onto Iida's leg and covered his engines in ice before continuing on to freeze the rest of his opponent's body.

Veronica smiled and cheered for her boyfriend as he sealed his spot in the final matchup.

Katsuki and his classmate Tokoyami were next in line to battle. Veronica watched intently as Katsuki continuously shot explosions at Dark Shadow, quickly discovering his weakness.

She watched as Katsuki cupped his hands together towards Tokoyami, setting off an explosion that flooded the stadium with a blinding light and smoke.

As the smoke cleared, Veronica saw that Katsuki was now standing over Tokoyami, holding him down until he surrendered.

Katsuki straightened and looked to the stands, searching as the crowd cheered. Grey and turquoise eyes met crimson ones, their intent evident.

This is it. The final battle for her.

Chapter Text

Shoto's mind wandered as he sat at the table in the waiting room. He looked down at his left hand, remembering his childhood, and his mother...

How did this happen? I had pushed her out of my mind. I had tried not to think about her... Then that fight with Midoriya... Shoto clenched his fist. Mom...

Shoto jumped in surprise as the door to the waiting room was kicked open, revealing a confused Katsuki.

"Hey, what the hell are you doing in here?" Katsuki pointed an accusatory finger at Shoto. "This is my space to-"

Katsuki froze as he glanced at the sign outside of the door. "Ah, crap! This is waiting room number two?!"

Shoto looked away from Katsuki, choosing to ignore his outburst. Katsuki felt his eye twitch in irritation as Shoto pretended he wasn't there. He thinks he can just ignore me?

"Alright, fine. So I may have walked into the wrong room..." Katsuki stalked towards Shoto's seated form, anger rising. "But don't think that means that I'm not going to be on top of my game, you got that?"

Katsuki slammed his hand down on the table beside Shoto, letting loose a flurry of small explosions. "You better bring all you got to this, Icy-Hot!"

"Midoriya." Shoto's voice was devoid of all emotion as he spoke.

"Huh?" Katsuki scrutinized Shoto as he continued to stare straight ahead. Is he even fucking listening to me?

"He said the same thing." Shoto looked to his left hand once more. "That fool. Instead of trying to win the match himself he focused on breaking my walls." Shoto glanced at Katsuki. "You guys were childhood friends, right? Was he like that when you were kids... so helpful?"

Katsuki's hands fisted at his sides as childhood memories of Deku resurfaced. That god damn nerd, always looking down on me! Who does he think he is?! I'm not some weakling who would need his help.

"What does he have to do with any of this?" Katsuki kicked the table away from Shoto, flipping it into its side. "It's all between you and me now. Focus on the match. That's the only thing I give a damn about. Whatever your family problems are... whatever you're feeling... none of that crap matters, just make sure you don't hold back. Use your flames on me."

Katsuki began to stomp his way out of the room. "I want everyone to know that I beat you at your best."

The ash blond paused in the doorway, remembering the one thing that mattered the most. "Oh, and don't forget... when you lose, she's mine."

A menacing smile graced Katsuki's face as he continued his way down the hall. Let's see him try and use his powers against me when I'm bombing every inch of the stadium. I'll show the world what a champion looks like. I'll show her...


Veronica paced nervously along the railing of the bleachers, working away at her bottom lip with her teeth. She felt like she could snap at any moment. This is what the whole days been leading up to, isn't it?

What's going to happen when this is over? One of them has to win, so will the other really back off? Veronica stiffened at the thought. What if Shoto loses? Will I never see him again?

She drew in a shaky breath and shook her head. My god, what the hell am I thinking? It's not like the outcome really matters. I'm with Shoto and that's not going to change...

Veronica's stomach was in knots. It took every bit of her willpower not to just lean over the railing and puke her guts out. She'd never been this nervous in her entire life, and it was beginning to show.

A small clink of metal drew Veronica's attention. She glanced down at her wrist to see the charm bracelet Katsuki had given her only a couple of weeks ago. The colourful stars sparkled in the sunlight, a constant reminder that Shoto wasn't the only one she was worried about losing.

God damn it! Why?! Why did my love life have to spiral so far out of control?!

Veronica jerked her eyes towards the arena as the start of the final match was announced. Her chest felt tight as she tried to remain calm enough to focus on the fight below.

Shoto instantly shot an enormous ice attack at Katsuki, covering half of the arena in an iceberg. Multiple explosions could be heard from within the ice as Katsuki blasted his way through.

Shoto jumped back slightly as Katsuki finally burst through the ice. "You've got some pretty powerful attacks..."

Shoto started towards Katsuki as he launched himself forward using his explosions. "...But you're a bad aim!"

Shoto reached his hand out to freeze Katsuki in place as he flew towards him, but Katsuki dogged in mid-air using a calculated explosion.

"Try harder!" Katsuki yelled as he grabbed Shoto by his hair and shoulder, flipping over him and planting his feet on the ground, forcing Shoto to bend backwards.

"Are you underestimating me? Idiot!" Katsuki used a blast as he threw Shoto, launching him across the arena towards the boundary line.

Shoto spun in the air, managing to create a wave of ice as he caught himself before skating back around towards Katsuki. Katsuki jumped towards Shoto, trying to hit him with an explosion.

Shoto instantly grabbed Katsuki's arm with his left hand, but he hesitated. Should I really... Shoto tossed Katsuki aside, refusing to use his fire.

Katsuki flipped in the air, landing on his feet as he slid to the centre of the arena. Shoto followed, preparing to face off once more.

"Tch, stop screwing around. What, do you think I'm not worthy of your fire?" Katsuki clenched his fists in anger. "You bastard! I'll tell you what will happen if you make a fool outta me. I'll kill you!"

Surprise flashed across Shoto's face at his rivals anger.

"I don't want there to be any doubt that I'm the best student at the festival. That's only possible if you come at me as hard as you can. There's no point if you don't fight me with the same power you used against Deku. If you don't wanna win this, then why are you even here?! Do you want me to steal her away from you that badly?!"

Katsuki started towards Shoto. "Show everyone that you're trying to destroy me!"

Shoto stood frozen, uncertainty filling him. I'm sorry, Bakugo. Since I fought Midoriya, I'm unsure of so much... Whether or not I did the right thing... What my left side means to me... Even if it means sacrificing her...

"Come on Todoroki! Don't give up! Do your best!" Midoriya's words rang loud and clear from the stands.

Veronica jumped in surprise at his words, but hope filled her as she looked back to Shoto. Maybe it'll help this time too...

Shoto looked towards the bleachers. Midoriya...

Katsuki glanced at Midoriya. "That stupid nerd." He pushed himself into the air using an explosion as he refocused on Shoto.

Suddenly, fire erupted from Shoto's left side, covering his head and shoulder as he melted the ice hindering his right side. Determination filled Shoto as he was reminded of his goals.

Hell yeah... That's it... Katsuki smirked as he started spinning in the air using his quirk, quickly forming a whirlwind of smoke and explosions. If you're gonna face me, you can't half-ass it. I don't want her to think that you could have won otherwise. Try everything you can to defeat me. Don't you dare hold back!

Shoto raised his left hand towards Katsuki's approaching form, preparing to launch a fire attack at him. Memories flashed through his mind; images of the abuse his father bestowed upon his mother and the way she had lashed out at him in anguish.

Shoto's fire dissipated as he dropped his left arm, sadness filling him as he quickly shot up a wall of ice in a last minute attempt of defence.

Katsuki hit Shoto's ice with a massive explosion, once again lighting up the stadium as the arena was engulfed in flames, destroying all of Shoto's ice.

Katsuki fell from the air, landing in the centre of the arena on his stomach after exhausting all of his strength in his final attack.

He raised his head, watching intently as the smoke cleared, only to find Shoto lying amidst a pile of his own ice, out of bounds and unconscious.

Veronica's heart sank into her stomach as she clamped her hands over her mouth, trying to suppress the sob that broke through her body. Shoto... no...

"Huh? You decided not to use your fire?" Katsuki stared at Shoto's unmoving form in disbelief. No...

"Hey..." Katsuki struggled to his feet and began to stumble towards Shoto. "Hey!"

Katsuki began to run towards Shoto in anger, coming to a stop above him. He grabbed onto Shoto's shirt, yanking his unmoving form upwards. "You, stop messing around! This isn't a real win for me unless you try harder. It can't end this way! Now get up! You..."

Katsuki dropped Shoto and fell to the ground, knocked out by Midnight's quirk. With Katsuki finally silent, she announced him as the Sports Festival winner.

No... Veronica slowly sank to her knees. I thought it would work. I thought that Midoriya would be able to help again...

Ice shot through her as another realization sunk in. He didn't try his best to win. He wasn't willing to use his fire against Katsuki... he wasn't willing to do everything to keep me...


Katsuki awoke with a start, practically jumping out of the infirmary bed. He looked around frantically, preparing for a fight until his crimson eyes found Veronica.

She stared at him from the seat beside his bed, deep blue eyes wide.

"What the hell?" Katsuki grumbled, calming down slightly as he sat back down on the infirmary bed.

"I should be asking you the same thing." Veronica clenched her jaw as she rose from her chair and moved to stand in front of Katsuki. "What the fuck did you think you were doing out there?"

"Me?" Katsuki raised an eyebrow. "What about your stupid boyfriend? Why the hell wouldn't he come at me full force? Did he think I would be so fucking easy to beat at half his power?"

Veronica narrowed her eyes at Katsuki. "At least he didn't try to fucking kill you after he'd knocked you unconscious!" She jabbed an accusing finger into his chest. "What the fuck is wrong with you? Are you so fucking messed up in the head that you don't know when to fucking quit?!"

Katsuki smacked her hand away. "Oh, I'm the one who's messed up? News flash, babe, that fight was to determine who got to date you and he threw the match."

That was Veronica's breaking point. Red filled her vision as she took Katsuki on.

"You don't think I already knew that?!" She screeched at him. "You're both so fucking dense and off in your own little pissing contest that you forgot all about me and my fucking feelings!"

Katsuki's crimson eyes widened slightly in surprise.

"I'm so sick of it! Especially of you!" Veronica spat at him. "Do you ever fucking think before you act?! It's like you just do whatever the fuck you want, regardless of what other people think and the consequences. We wouldn't even be in the fucking mess of it weren't for you!"

"You're saying it's my fault?" Katsuki sputtered. "Who's the one who let me kiss her the other day? Who's the one who can't make up her fucking mind on who she wants to be with, huh? 'Cuz it ain't fucking me."

The sound of skin hitting skin echoed through the room. Katsuki winced as he raised his hand to touch the red mark that was quickly forming on his left cheek.

Veronica's voice was low, dripping with venom as her body shook. "Don't ever speak to me again, Katsuki Bakugo. You and I are through."

Veronica spun on her heel, grabbing her bag as she stormed out of the room.

Katsuki remained silent, his hands gripping the edge of the infirmary bed as he watched her leave. He clenched his jaw, the pressure making the pain in his cheek worse as he fought to keep his anger under control.

There was no point in following her. They both needed to calm down or nothing was going to be resolved. Katsuki knew that, yet the rage boiling up inside of him was gaining traction.

"Yo, Bakubro!" Kirishima smiled as he waltzed into the room. "Congrats on your win!"

"SHUT THE FUCK UP, SHITTY-HAIR!"

Chapter Text

Veronica wanted to scream as she stomped through the void towards Shoto's infirmary room. The teachers had decided it was best to keep the two separated after the way the match had ended.

A small tinkling of metal drew her attention. She raised her arm to look at the charm bracelet Katsuki had given her, suddenly wanting nothing to do with him or his god damn gift.

Veronica tore the bracelet off in anger, gripping it in her fist as she raised her arm up and pulled it back, preparing to throw it as far as she could through the void.

Veronica froze, her anger slowly trickling away as she lowered her arm. I'm going to regret it if I get rid of it, aren't I? She begrudgingly stuffed the bracelet into her bag, her body suddenly overcome with exhaustion. I just want this day to be over with.

She merged back into reality as the door to Shoto's room came into view. Veronica knocked lightly at the door before pushing it open and slipping inside.

Shoto was already awake and sitting up in his bed, his mind swirling with unfamiliar thoughts and emotions. His grey and turquoise eyes flicked towards Veronica as she entered his room, but he quickly turned his attention elsewhere.

"Hey, Shoto, how are you feeling?" Veronica questioned gently as she made her way to his bed.

"You need to leave."

"What?" Veronica stopped in her tracks, taken aback by his cold tone. "Shoto, what are you-"

"I don't want to see you anymore."

Her heart stopped. She'd known this was coming. He'd lost the match, after all. But it didn't matter, right? Veronica already knew about the deal he'd made, and she knew that she wanted to be with him no matter what.

"Shoto-"

"Didn't you hear me?" Shoto looked up at her, frustration and anger flashing across his face. "I don't want to be with you anymore. We're through!"

Veronica started to walk towards him again, desperation filling her. "But Sho-"

"I saw you kissing him!"

Her chest tightened as his words hit her, her footsteps coming to a halt. Maybe it didn't matter if he won the fight or not... maybe he really did throw the match...

Tears started to prick at Veronica's eyes. did kiss Katsuki. Why would he trust me after that? I cheated on him, even if I didn't seek Katsuki out myself.

Shoto turned away from Veronica. I can't look at her. It's too much. I lost, and if she really wants to be with him, I can't stop her. Just hurry up and leave already!

"I'll tell my father that the engagement is off. Just leave me alone."

Veronica's heart broke at Shoto's emotionless words. It's really over then, isn't it?

She bit her tongue to hold back her cries as she turned and fled from the room, leaving Shoto to wallow in his own despair.


Veronica gasped for air as she finished emptying the contents of her stomach onto the ground.

That's how Nanami and Touya found her, bent over, switching between crying and dry heaving on the path between the 1st and 3rd Year's stadiums.

"I want to go and see my mom," Veronica cried as her friends helped to steady her shaking form.

Nanami and Touya shared concerned looks. Their awards ceremony had ended not too long ago, and they'd just been dismissed for the day.

"I guess it's a good thing that I brought my car today," Touya sighed. He'd turned 18 back in January, and had immediately gone to get his license so that he could visit his family more frequently.

Nanami pulled Veronica's arm over her shoulder, helping her to make the walk to where Touya's car was parked.

The car ride was silent, aside from Veronica's muffled crying as she sobbed into Nanami's shoulder. She'd opted to sit in the back seat with Veronica, hoping that she could offer her at least some form of comfort.

Neither of Veronica's friends were brave enough to ask what had happened. They were hoping that a trip to her mothers grave would at least calm her down enough so that she would tell them herself.

Veronica bolted from the car as soon as it came to a stop a couple of hours later outside of the small town's graveyard.

Nanami and Touya called to Veronica as they raced after her, but their words fell on deaf ears.

Veronica dropped to her knees with a thud, the dirt of her mother's grave coating her jeans as she threw her arms around the gravestone. The dark grey stone felt cool and reassuring against Veronica's skin as she pressed her forehead to it, her crying picking up once again.

"What should we do?" Nanami frantically whispered to Touya as they came to a halt a few feet away.

"I don't know," Touya grabbed Nanami's hand and gave it a reassuring squeeze. "I think that we just have to leave her be for now."

"What do you think happened?" Nanami turned to her boyfriend, wrapping her arms around his waist as she sought out his warmth.

"Nothing good," Touya grimly remarked.


The sun had set hours ago by the time Veronica crying had stopped. Her eyes were itchy and swollen. It stung every time she blinked, but she felt a little lighter overall, even if she was at the point of passing out.

"Feeling better?" Touya placed a hand on Veronica's shoulder as he crouched down in the dirt beside her.

Veronica nodded, glancing back to where Nanami stood half asleep, her form dimly lit by the graveyards lamp posts. She felt guilty for having dragged them out here.

"She'll be fine," Touya drew Veronica's attention to him once more. His bright blue eyes scanned her face. "We both came to support you, even if all we did was stand around and wait. So don't feel bad about it, okay?"

Veronica nodded once more as Touya stood and held his hand out to her. "Come on, you can explain everything on the way home."


"He actually dumped you?" Nanami gaped at Veronica, her golden eyes wide with disbelief.

"Yep." Veronica let out a humourless laugh. "I mean, I guess I should have seen it coming. Even if he'd won, I'm pretty sure the outcome would have been the same."

"Why do you say that?" Touya glanced at Veronica through his rearview mirror.

"I cheated on him, Touya," she deadpanned. "He even saw it with his own eyes. Of course he wasn't going to stay with me."

Touya sighed. "I think that you're jumping to conclusions. He really liked you, Veronica. He wasn't going to fight for you just to throw you away."

"But he didn't fight for me, not really. He was going to use his flames but then he just..." Veronica trailed off, looking out the window. "He just didn't."

Nanami shook her head. "Touya's right. Wait a couple of days for things to settle down, then go and talk to him about everything. You need to lay everything out on the table and make sure that everything is clear." Nanami took Veronica's hand in hers, drawing her attention. "You'll regret it if you find out later that you broke up over a misunderstanding."

Veronica reluctantly nodded. "Okay."

"I hate to be the person to ask, but... what about Bakugo?" Veronica stiffened at Touya's question.

"What about him?" She hissed.

"Whoa, okay, my mistake," Touya quickly backtracked.

Nanami shot her boyfriend a sympathetic look but remained silent beside Veronica. Katsuki could go and die in a hole for all she cared.

At least... that's what Veronica kept telling herself.


By the time Touya had dropped Veronica off at her apartment building, there was a steady pounding in her head. Everything hurt, from her body to her heart.

She was so distracted that she didn't notice the familiar car parked in front of the building as she climbed the stairs to her door.

Veronica jammed her key into the door, sighing as she finally stepped into the place she called home.

Closing the door behind herself, Veronica stripped off her dirt-caked shoes, only to be greeted by the stench of alcohol as she stood and took a step into the foyer. The floor was littered with empty bottles of alcohol.

***WARNING***

The following scene depicts graphic violence and abuse that may trigger viewers (I will place a marker at the end so that you can skip ahead if needed)

"There you are, you little brat!"

Veronica's blood ran cold as her aunt Caroline's form came into view. Her face was red with alcohol-induced anger, a half-empty bottle of vodka swinging in her right hand.

She stood frozen in fear as Caroline lurched forward, grabbing Veronica by her arm. Her nails dug into Veronica's skin through her sleeve, making her yelp in pain.

"You little whore," Caroline slurred into Veronica's face, tightening her grip even further. "Do you have any idea how much money I lost because of you!"

Veronica flinched at her words. Had Endeavour cut her off already?

"I'm sorry, I-"

"Shut the fuck up!" Caroline screeched, raising the bottle of vodka above her head before swiftly bringing it down.

The bottle shattered, shards of glass cutting into Veronica's scalp as the alcohol dripped down, stinging the broken skin.

Veronica swayed, her vision going hazy as she fought to stay upright. If she didn't stay conscious, it'd only get worse.

"You didn't even think of me when you skipped out on your Sports Festival, did you?!" Caroline hissed. "I lost thousands because I bet my money on you placing first, you ungrateful bitch!"

Veronica screamed as Caroline took the broken bottle and shoved it into her right shoulder, holding Veronica in place so that she couldn't escape.

"Don't you dare think of running, you little slut. You deserve every second of this!"

Veronica whimpered in pain as Caroline threw her to the floor, her left side hitting the small foyer table before she fell to the ground.

Blood splattered and dripped from Veronica's hurt shoulder where broken glass remained embedded in the skin.

"God, you're so fucking useless, just like your mother!" Caroline kicked Veronica in the stomach, causing her to heave and spit on the floor.

Veronica curled up in an attempt to protect herself, but she only succeeded in making Caroline angrier.

Another kick was soon followed by another, and another, until Veronica was left gasping for air and seeing stars.

This might be it, she might actually kill me this time.

Would it really be so bad if she did?

Veronica screamed again as Caroline began picking up and throwing the empty alcohol bottles at her. Glass tore through her jeans and shirt, littering Veronica's bruised body with cuts as blood began staining her clothes.

No, please... I have to survive this. I have to fix things with Shoto...

****This is the end of the violence, it's safe to read now

Veronica's world began to fade around the edges as her aunt ended her torment. She barely registered Caroline's voice as she yelled at her once more, no doubt telling Veronica that she'd kill her if she died, before slamming the front door and leaving for the night.

Veronica whimpered in despair as she tried to drag herself to the kitchen, leaving a trail of bright red blood in her wake.

I need help... please... someone... anyone...

Veronica struggled to pull her phone from her pocket, the small movements tugging at her cuts and increasing the pain.

Tears streamed down Veronica's cheeks as she placed the phone in front of her face on the floor, biting her tongue to prevent herself from screaming as she dialled.

Veronica held her breath as the phone began to ring. Please pick up... please...

Chapter Text

Katsuki punched repeatedly at the sandbag that hung in his room. He'd hoped to work some more of his anger out before going to bed, but it was starting to seem hopeless. At this rate, he'd be tossing and turning all night.

He'd stayed out past dinner, working his way through various parks as he attempted to destroy everything in sight. Nothing seemed to quell his rage and frustration for long though.

That god damn Icy-Hot! It's all his fault! She wouldn't have acted like that if he'd just used his flames on me. There wouldn't have been any reason for her to doubt my victory.

His mother had been quick to snatch away his medal when he'd first returned home, preventing him from destroying it. The damn thing now sat in an explosion-proof case in their living room, the shimmering gold circle taunting him every time he walked by.

"FUCK!" Katsuki screamed as he hit the sandbag with an explosion.

"Katsuki Bakugo! No explosions in the house!"

"Shut it, you old hag!" Katsuki yelled back at his mother as he fell back onto his bed.

Katsuki clenched his jaw. All he wanted to do was tear that half-and-half bastard a new one. I bet he's laughing his ass off right now, spending the night with her while she comforts him about his loss.

Katsuki sat up with a growl as his cellphone started to ring. "Who the fuck?"

He paused as he noticed who was calling. A smug smile graced his lips as he reached for his phone, answering it. "I thought you never wanted to fucking speak to me again, huh? So what the hell do you want?"

Silence greeted Katsuki, making him grit his teeth. "OI! Veronica! What the hell is this? Don't tell me you're calling just to fucking-"

"Kat...su...ki?" Veronica whimpered over the static-filled line.

Katsuki felt his stomach drop as he listened to her laboured breathing fill the air. "Veronica?"

"You... picked up... thank god..." A fit of coughing mixed with pain-filled whines greeted Katsuki's ears.

He sprung to his feet. "Veronica, what happened? Are you alright? Where are you?" Worry flooded Katsuki's voice as he began pacing his room. "Answer me, damn it!"

"Think I'm... dying..."

"Fuck!" Katsuki grabbed a duffle bag from his closet and started shoving all of the first aid items he could find into it. "Where the hell are you?"

"Home..."

"Where's home?" Katsuki grabbed his keys and jacket as static filled the line. "Veronica, where the hell is home?!"

Katsuki's heart stopped as the line went dead. "No no no no- Fuck, come on!" He redialed her number. The call instantly went to voicemail. "FUCK!"

The only other person who could tell him where she was Shoto, and Katsuki realized that he didn't have the bastard's god damn number. Deku!

Katsuki quickly dialled Midoriya's number as he began to pace his room once more. "God damn it Deku, pick up the fucking phone!"

"O-oh, hi Kacchan," Midoriya's surprised voice answered. "What do you-"

"Icy-Hot's number, you have it don't you?"

"Uh, um, yeah, I do. Why do you-"

"I need it, Deku! Now!"

Midoriya almost dropped his phone as Katsuki's harsh voice frantically yelled in his ear. "O-oh, okay. One sec and I'll-"

"Now, Deku! Hurry the fuck up!"

"Okay, sorry!" Midoriya pulled his cell from his ear to find Shoto's number in his contacts. "I'll send it to you right now."

The line beeped as Katsuki hung up and Midoriya quickly texted him Shoto's number. What the heck is up with Kacchan? Why does he want Todoroki's number all of a sudden?

Katsuki quickly punched in Shoto's number, swearing profusely when the phone rang until his voicemail picked up. "God damn it, Icy-Hot! If she dies, it's your fault!"

Katsuki hit redial as he grabbed his stuff and raced from his house, running the block to Midoriya's place.

His phone kept going to voicemail, but Katsuki continued to call, desperately hoping that the bastard would pick up.

Katsuki nearly broke down Midoriya's door as the green-haired boy answered.

"K-Kacchan? What are you-"

"Do you have any idea where he lives, Deku? Or better yet, where Veronica does?"

"W-what? Why-"

"Quit asking why!" Midoriya yelped as Katsuki picked him up by his shirt, desperation driving his actions. "It's fucking life or death, Deku! Now tell me!"

Midoriya stared at Katsuki in pure terror for a moment. The look in his crimson eyes told Midoriya that anyone who got in his way was going to suffer a fate worse than death.

"I-I don't know where Unmei lives, but Todoroki told me about his home a while ago." The second Shoto's location left Midoriya's lips, Katsuki had dropped him.

Without another word to the green-haired boy, Katsuki charged down the street. Why the fuck does he have to live halfway across the city?! He used one hand to help propel himself forward with his quirk as he used the other to continue hitting redial on his phone. Pick up, you bastard!


Shoto rolled over in bed, pulling his pillow over his head as his phone rang once again. Whoever was calling him was being persistent, and it was beginning to become annoying.

He wanted nothing more than to wallow in his own self-hatred for the rest of the evening. He'd deal with his problems in the morning, but for now, he just wanted to be left alone.

"Hey! You can't just barge in here!"

Shoto sat up in surprise as his older sister's voice filled the house, followed by a flurry of stomping.

Shoto jumped slightly as his bedroom door was flung open, revealing a furious Katsuki.

"What the hell-"

"Do you not know how to pick up your fucking phone?!" Katsuki screamed at Shoto as he stormed towards him.

Katsuki grabbed Shoto's arm, yanking him out of bed as he began to drag him across his room.

"Why the hell were you calling me in the first place?" Shoto pulled against Katsuki's hold, bringing him to a halt as Shoto's own anger rose.

Katsuki spun on him, red clouding his vision. "You're girlfriends dying and I don't know where the fuck she lives, so I can't go and save her myself!"

Shoto jerked his arm from Katsuki's death grip. "She's not my fucking girlfriend anymore, so whatever she's crying about doesn't concern me."

"Did you not fucking hear me?!" Katsuki snarled at Shoto. "She is literally dying. I don't give a fuck if she's your girlfriend or not, but I'm not letting her life end here just because of your fucking stupidity!"

Shoto's eyes widened as Katsuki's words sunk in. "Wait... you mean...?"

"Let's fucking go already!" Katsuki grabbed onto him once more, pulling him out of the room and through the house. "She didn't sound like she had much longer when she called me."


Katsuki followed Shoto as they made their way to Veronica's place, picking up speed as they went.

"I hope we're not too late..." Shoto was beginning to regret his decision to end things with her earlier in the day. Maybe if I hadn't, this wouldn't have happened...

Katsuki relaxed slightly as they came to a stop in front of Veronica's front door, but his body tensed as he jiggled the handle and realized it was locked. "We'll have to break the door down."

"Don't," Shoto slid between Katsuki and the door as he prepared to knock it down. "I have a key."

Katsuki shook with impatience as Shoto unlocked the door and pushed it open.

The smell of copper hit them like a wall of bricks as they stepped into Veronica's apartment. Shoto's eyes immediately went to the pool of blood that stained the floor just past the entrance. So much... is she really still alive?

Katsuki pushed past him, ignoring the bigger puddle of blood to follow the trail Veronica had left on the floor. "Veronica? Where are you?"

"Shhhh," Shoto grabbed Katsuki's shoulder to stop him. "We don't know if the attacker is still here or not."

Shoto tensed for a fight as Katsuki shook off his hand. "Are you really that fucking dense?" Crimson eyes narrowed at Shoto briefly before Katsuki sped to follow the red trail to the kitchen.

Shoto took after him, trying to keep an eye out for whoever had tried to kill Veronica. He ran into Katsuki's back as he came to a halt in the kitchen, swearing profusely.

"What the hell-"

Katsuki ignored him as he leapt forward, dropping to his knees in front of Veronica's battered and bloodied form. He dropped his duffle bag beside her before quickly going to check that she was still breathing.

Katsuki let out a sigh of relief as he discovered that she was indeed still alive, though her breathing was shallow and ragged.

"Hey baby, it's okay now. I'm here to save you," Katsuki cooed as he pushed some of the blood-splattered hair from Veronica's face.

Veronica groaned at his touch, blinking a few times before shifting her eyes to look at him. "Kat..suki?" Fresh tears blurred her vision.

Shoto couldn't move. The second he'd caught sight of Veronica his whole world had shattered. She was literally dying in front of his eyes, and for the first time in his life, he couldn't think straight.

"OI!" Katsuki yelled back at him. "Get your ass over here and help! Or do you want her to die?"

Katsuki's harsh words spurred Shoto to action. He moved towards Veronica, dropping to his knees by her head. "What should I...?"

Katsuki grabbed the first aid kit Veronica had managed to pull out from under the kitchen sink and popped it open to look through its contents. "Hold her head in your lap. You need to make sure that she stays awake, got it? It looks like she got hit over the head, so she's probably going to have a concussion."

"Here," Katsuki thrust a kitchen towel at Shoto. "Hold this over her head to stop the bleeding."

"Shouldn't we be taking her to the hospital?"

"No hospital," Veronica croaked out. "Make it worse..."

"What?" Shoto stared at her in confusion. "If you don't go you could die."

"Will die... if I go..."

"Would you just fucking listen to me!" Katsuki yelled at Shoto in frustration. "We're not taking her to a hospital. By the looks of her first aid kit, we should have everything we need here to help her."

"But she-"

"Todoroki shut the fuck up and do what you're fucking told!"

Shoto was taken aback at Katsuki's outburst and the use of his name. It was only then that the gravity of the situation began to sink in.

Shoto nodded, shifting closer to Veronica so that he could pull her head into his lap as he took the towel from Katsuki. "Hey, Veronica, you need to stay awake, okay? You need to-"

Veronica screamed in pain, making Shoto jump as Katsuki poured a hospital-grade disinfectant over the cuts on her legs and went to work wiping away the blood and deciding which parts needed stitching up.

"What the hell, you're hurting her!"

"At least I'm actually keeping her awake! Do your job!"

Shoto clenched his jaw as he looked back to Veronica's face, twisted in slight pain. He hated to admit it, but she did look a lot more lively.

"Sweetheart," Shoto mimicked Katsuki's calmer tone, drawing her attention. "Who did this to you? Where did they go?"

Katsuki snorted at Shoto's line of questioning as he pulled out a sealed surgical needle and thread. "Ask her something else."

Shoto narrowed his eyes at Katsuki. "Why? Isn't that something we need to know?"

Katsuki rolled his eyes at Shoto. He glanced at Veronica, his jaw clenching when he noticed her eyes beginning to close. He grabbed the disinfectant, dumping more of it over another cut.

Veronica jumped in their arms, hissing in pain. "Stay with us, babe." Katsuki gave Shoto a sharp look before returning his attention to her. "Why did she hurt you?"

Shoto shot Katsuki a confused look as he began to stitch up Veronica's leg. What the hell does he know that I don't?

"S-she was mad," Veronica choked out.

Shoto looked down at her with wide eyes as she answered Katsuki's question.

"Why was she mad, baby?"

Veronica whimpered as Katsuki continued to tug at her skin with the needle. "Money... she said... it was my..."

Veronica let out a scream of anguish and terror as she began to fight against their hold.

"What the-"

"Hold her down!" Katsuki yelled as she began to scream for help.

Shoto sat frozen in shock as Veronica fought against Katsuki's strong grip. "But-"

"Todoroki, hold her down!" Katsuki struggled to hold Veronica in place without accidentally jabbing the needle into her. "She's having a flashback! We're not hurting her, she's just scared. She doesn't know where she is anymore."

Shoto was at a loss for words. How the hell does he know so much? He grabbed onto her shoulders, grunting in pain as small shards of glass cut into his left palm.

"Veronica, it's okay, it's me, Sho-sho," Shoto tried to sound as soothing as possible as he held her down. "It's okay, you're safe now. No one's going to hurt you anymore."

"Sho...sho?" Her movements faltered, her eyes finding his as fresh blood seeped from her wounds.

"Yeah, it's okay, I'm here now." Shoto leaned forward, pressing his forehead against Veronica's blood-stained cheek, his breath fanning her eyes and hair. Her body instantly relaxed, her deep blue eyes never leaving his grey and turquoise ones as he pulled away and Katsuki resumed working on her legs.

"Don't forget to ask her questions. Keep her awake. It'll be bad if she falls asleep."

"Okay," Shoto breathed. "You hear that sweetheart? You have to work with me okay? You have to stay awake."


The next few hours passed in a similar fashion. Katsuki went to work on cleaning up Veronica's wounds while Shoto did his best to keep her awake and distracted. He kept his questions simple, avoiding any topics that had a chance of setting her off.

It was a struggle when it came time to pull the shards of glass from Veronica's right shoulder and scalp, but by then she was too tired to put up much of a fight anyways.

"Please..." Veronica whimpered. "I just want to sleep... please let me sleep..."

"Shhh, not yet sweetheart," Shoto soothed before directing his attention to Katsuki. "How's her head looking?"

Katsuki glanced to Shoto as he wiped away the rest of the blood. "Better than I thought. None of the cuts are deep enough to require stitches, and a few of them are already healing. Her shoulder was a lot worse."

Shoto sighed in relief. "That's good."

Katsuki nodded. "The only thing left to worry about is the possible concussion. I managed to wipe up most of the blood while I was treating her, so she should be okay to go and rest now. We just have to stay up with her tonight."

"She has to be woken up every 15 minutes for the first 2 hours, then every half hour after that, right?" Shoto questioned, remembering some basic medical training as he carefully pulled Veronica into his arms and stood.

"Yeah," Katsuki rubbed the back of his neck. "Come back once you've put her to bed. I'll fix up your hand, then we can get to cleaning."

Shoto shifted Veronica's already unconscious form in his arms. "We also need to have a talk. You're going to tell me everything you know when I come back."

"Agreed."

Chapter Text

Shoto gently placed Veronica in her bed, tensing as she groaned faintly in pain. "Sorry sweetheart, but you can sleep now."

He pulled the covers up and over her battered form before carefully taking a seat beside her on the bed. He brushed some hair out of her face then pulled his phone from his pocket and set a timer.

"How the hell did this happen?" Shoto sighed in frustration as he looked around Veronica's darkened room.

Veronica shifted slightly in her sleep, letting out a pained whimper. Shoto frowned as he looked towards her once more. So many questions swirled through his head.

Bakugo obviously knows what's going on, so why don't I? Even if she doesn't like me romantically, we grew up together. I thought that we were the closest friends could be... why would she tell him things but not me?

Shoto swallowed the lump forming in his throat. Only one way to find out.

Shoto stood, leaning over briefly to place a light kiss on Veronica's forehead before he left her to sleep.

Upon returning to the kitchen Shoto saw that Katsuki was now leaning against the counter, scowling as he fiddled with a phone.

"What's that?"

Katsuki jumped slightly, almost dropping the phone. He glanced at Shoto, his crimson eyes reflecting his anxieties.

"It's her phone." Katsuki held the phone out towards Shoto, revealing the shattered and bloodied screen. "The line went dead after she called and it won't turn on now. I'm guessing that it got broken when she was attacked."

Shoto winced as he took the phone from Katsuki, the action making pain radiate through his left hand. "You're awfully calm about all of this."

Katsuki let out a small, humourless laugh as he ran a hand through his ash-blond spikes. "Am I? I think it's more shock than calm. I'm still trying to process what just happened."

Shoto nodded in understanding. If it hadn't been for Katsuki, he wasn't sure he would have been able to help Veronica at all.

"Here, I'll fix up your hand now," Katsuki pulled a chair from the kitchen table, taking a seat as he motioned for Shoto to do the same.

Shoto obliged, holding his left hand out to Katsuki as the blond pulled the first aid kit into his lap.

They sat in silence as Katsuki went to work cleaning up Shoto's cuts. Shoto struggled to figure out which question he should ask first. He winced briefly when Katsuki poured the disinfectant over his hand but remained still.

"Why did she call you and not me?"

Katsuki paused before continuing to wrap Shoto's hand with gauze. "Because I told her to."

Shoto scrunched up his face. What the hell is that supposed to mean? "You knew that this was going to happen to her?"

Katsuki tugged on the gauze sharply, causing Shoto to flinch. He glared at Shoto. "No, otherwise I wouldn't have fucking let it happen."

Katsuki inhaled sharply, trying to rein in his anger. Fighting isn't going to do us any good right now. "Besides, if she'd called you, would you have answered?"

"Of course I would have-"

"Yeah, now that you know why she was calling." Katsuki dropped Shoto's bandaged hand. "But you said she wasn't your girlfriend anymore, right? So why would you answer the phone if your ex called?"

Shoto clenched his jaw. He hated that Katsuki was right. Then something dawned on him. "Wait, you called her my girlfriend when you came to get me, and you didn't know where she lived, so..."

"Just spit it out," Katsuki growled at Shoto.

"You two aren't dating now?"

Katsuki couldn't help the laugh that erupted from his throat. "Did you even talk to her after the Sports Festival? Or did you just dump her and walk away?"

Shoto looked to the floor as guilt filled him.

"Oh shit..." Katsuki straightened in his seat. "You seriously didn't talk to her at all?"

Shoto shook his head, refusing to meet Katsuki's crimson eyes.

"Are you fucking kidding me?!" Katsuki yelled as he jumped to his feet. "I spent the whole fucking day defending your sorry ass and you didn't even have the balls to fucking talk to her afterwards?!"

Shoto's head whipped up, his eyes going wide. "Defending me?"

"Yes!" Katsuki huffed in frustration. "She's been worrying about your relationship all day. She's somehow got it into her head that you don't actually care about her, and frankly, I'm starting to think that she's right."

The temperature in the kitchen began to drop rapidly. "What the hell are you talking about? Of course I care about her!"

"You have a funny way of showing it," Katsuki narrowed his crimson eyes at Shoto. "You know what, no. We're not having this conversation."

"Excuse me?" Shoto gaped at Katsuki as he turned to look for cleaning supplies.

"You heard me," Katsuki crouched down to look for bleach under the sink. "Anything you want to ask, you can ask her. Clearly, the two of you need to have a talk before anything else gets resolved."

Shoto sat in shock as he watched Katsuki begin to clean up the bloody mess that was the kitchen floor.

"Don't just fucking sit there," Katsuki threw a pair of gloves at Shoto. "I'll clean in here while you go and deal with the entrance and we'll meet in the middle."

Katsuki paused. "And really? Your first concern was that she called me and not you, instead of who hurt her?" The ash-blond shook his head. "You don't deserve her."


"There you are!"

A woman with short, bright blond hair ran through the fog towards a dark-haired teenage boy. The boy held a small bundle wrapped up in a soft blanket in his arms.

"Chi-chan! I was so worried!" The woman enveloped the boy in a hug, tears streaming down her face.

She pulled away from him, placing her hands on his shoulders as she leaned down to look at him. "I'm so glad that the two of you are safe."

The boy looked at her as if he was just noticing her. His brown eyes stared at her blankly, his brain trying to process what was happening.

"You're dead."

"No, no, Chi-chan, I'm right here, see?" The woman smiled through her tears. "I'm okay. Whatever they told you, they lied."

"I saw the pictures. They showed us... you were dead."

A shrill cry rang out from the bundle in his arms. The woman quickly scooped up the child, immediately beginning to bounce and rock the crying baby.

"Shhhh, it's okay sweetie, Mommy's here now," the woman cooed.

After a few moments, the child calmed down, returning to its docile state at the sound of its mother's voice. The woman returned her attention to the boy. "Where's your brother? Is he going to meet us at the safe house?"

The boy's body began to shake as reality set it. Tears began to stream down his face, his sorrow-filled words echoing through the night. "He's gone. They killed him."


Veronica bolted upright in bed, a strangled scream leaving her lips. She grabbed her forehead as pain shot through her skull, quickly joined with various pains emanating from her body.

Her right shoulder practically burned, the rest of her body throbbing with a dull ache. Tears streamed down Veronica's face as she tried to remember the dream, but the images soon melted into a thick fog.

Her body pitched forward as she began dry heaving over the side of her bed. A rush of footsteps sounded from the hallway, quickly followed by her bedroom door being thrown open.

"Shit, Veronica, are you okay?" Katsuki's rough voice hit her ears as he rushed to her side, pulling her hair out of her face before sitting on the bed beside her.

An abnormally cool hand touched Veronica's forehead, making her jump slightly as the heaving subsided. "She feels a bit warm."

"You dumbass, you're cold to begin with, so how would you know?" Katsuki scrutinized Shoto. "Go and get her some water, and a cool washcloth."

Shoto nodded, leaving briefly to do as he was told as Katsuki helped Veronica back to a sitting position.

Her head was spinning. Have I gone insane? Are they both here, and working together? As in not fighting? What the fuck happened?!

Veronica hissed and squeezed her eyes shut as images of her shrieking aunt and broken bottles filled her head. Memories of worse pain flooded her body. Shit, maybe I am dead.

"Katsuki?" Veronica croaked out, cracking one eye open slightly to look at him. "Am I dead?"

Katsuki shot her a look that clearly meant 'What the fuck is wrong with you?' as he eyed her battered form. "No. We managed to save your ass before that happened."

"Huh." Veronica closed her eye and leaned back against him, her body screaming at her to stop being upright.

Katsuki shook his head in disbelief as he shifted Veronica so that he was supporting most of her weight as she leaned against his chest. "What kind of Heaven did you think you'd made it to that both of us were here?"

Katsuki bit his tongue as the words left his mouth. What the fuck did I just say? "Or maybe Hell?"

"I think that it's purgatory if you're both here," Veronica smiled weakly at the random question. Always one to say the first thing that pops into your head, aren't you Katsuki?

Katsuki relaxed slightly. He wasn't sure what to think if she'd decided that Heaven would mean having both of them. What the fuck is going on with my brain?

"Obviously it wasn't going to be Heaven if you were here," Shoto startled Katsuki as he threw the cool washcloth on his face.

"OI! What the-"

"Here, sweetheart," Shoto crouched down in front of Veronica as she slowly opened her eyes. "Have some water, it might help."

Veronica winced in pain as she tried to swallow the lump that had formed in her throat, taking the class of cold water from Shoto as fast as she could. Right. Heaven would mean that Shoto and I were still together.

Hot tears burned her eyes as she slowly raised the glass to her lips, attempting to swallow her emotions along with the water.

Katsuki felt Veronica's body tense against his at Shoto's presence, and he began to rub soothing circles gently into her back with one hand as he glared at Shoto, fully prepared to throw the cloth back at him.

"Big words coming from the person who dumped her."

Veronica choked on the water, nearly dropping the glass as Katsuki hit her back to help her with her sudden coughing fit.

Shoto took the glass from her shaking hands as he narrowed his eyes at Katsuki. "Are you going to continue to hold that over me?"

"Oh, I'm sorry," Katsuki grinned menacingly. "Was I wrong?"

Ice frosted across the glass. "Shut up."

"Why don't you-"

"Please... don't." Veronica's voice was small and shaking, but the boys fell silent at her quivering words.

Shoto frowned as Katsuki leaned closer to grumble an apology against her hair. Was he lying when he said that they weren't dating? He's awfully close and she's letting him be...

"I don't want to fight anymore tonight," Veronica looked at Shoto with tired eyes. His chest felt tight at the sight of the pain in her deep blue eyes. "I just want to sleep and forget for a bit."

"Okay, anything you want," Katsuki soothed.

Shoto was at a loss. Katsuki was acting like a completely different person, as if he'd been possessed. The look of pure love that Shoto saw in his crimson eyes as Katsuki helped Veronica to lie back down was turning his stomach into knots.

Katsuki folded the wet cloth before placing it along Veronica's forehead, making her sigh in relief. The coolness felt nice against her skin and was helping to ease the pain in her head.

He pushed some of the hair from Veronica's face, leaning down to kiss her head and mumble a goodnight before straightening and walking towards the door.

"Make it quick," he muttered to Shoto as he passed. "She still needs rest."

Shoto nodded, slightly stunned as Katsuki left the room. He stood and placed the glass of water on top of the nightstand, then turned to Veronica, trying to find the words.

"I..." He rubbed the back of his neck in frustration as he glanced away, searching for answers that didn't exist.

"Shoto?"

He looked to Veronica's face, his grey and turquoise eyes finding hers. Guilt filled him once more at the sadness he saw below the surface.

"It's okay," she whispered, trying to offer him a smile. "Thank you for coming to help."

Shoto slowly nodded, then turned to leave.

"Wait!"

Dread filled Shoto's body as he spun to face her, afraid of what was to come.

"Could you... stay?" Veronica's eyes filled with a glimmer of hope. "Please? I don't want to be alone."

Shoto almost cried in relief as he sank to his knees beside her bed. "Always."

Chapter Text

Katsuki glanced at the clock above the kitchen sink in frustration. 10 minutes. He'd been in there for 10 minutes, and Katsuki soon realized that Shoto wouldn't be coming out.

The blond huffed as he pushed off of the kitchen counter and went to scour the fridge for some food. I knew that they were going to have to talk eventually. I just wish I'd had more time beforehand.

If Veronica and Shoto reconciled before he had a chance to fix things with her, it wasn't going to bode well for him. The likelihood that Veronica going to chose Shoto was quickly growing, and Katsuki hated it.

No! Katsuki slammed the fridge door, his hunger forgotten. It doesn't matter. He hurt her, and I was the one that came to rescue her. I was the one that she called for help. There's no way that she would chose him over me... I won't let her!

Katsuki stalked around the apartment, taking in his surroundings now that he could do so without Shoto watching him like a hawk. He was going to take every chance he could to get to know Veronica better. He'd be damned if that half-and-half bastard was going to get the better of him just because he'd known her longer. He wanted an equal playing field.

Katsuki spotted the heavy duty first aid kit still lying on the kitchen table. He cringed, remembering how extreme the contents had been. Shots of morphine and epinephrine, sealed surgical tools and items for stitches, gauze, hospital grade disinfectants... Katsuki shoved the first aid kit back under the sink where it belonged.

If she was that prepared for severe injuries, there was no doubt in his mind that this had happened before... on multiple occasions. His chest hurt. How many times had she been lying on the ground half dead, exactly as they'd found her hours before? Shoto clearly had no idea what was going on, which meant that Veronica'd always faced these situations alone. How many times had she forced herself to stay awake and fight through the pain in order to stitch herself up? How many times had it happened for her to seem so unfazed that her aunt had attacked her?

No, Katsuki remedied, remembering the way Veronica had screamed and flailed as she remembered the incident. Not unfazed. She was clearly showing signs of sever trauma and ptsd.

Katsuki had done his research. The second he found out that Veronica was still being abused he'd scoured the internet for answers, learning all that he could about the affects of abuse and how to deal with them. He wanted to be able to help her if anything triggered her, wanted to be the person that she could trust with anything, even the worst of it. He saw the way she trembled slightly if people started yelling. He knew that his own anger and outbursts affected her negatively and he was trying his best to curb them.

There's no way that she'd be able to deal with a big confrontation if she became a hero. He didn't want to upset her, but he'd been worried about her future. Katsuki had almost sighed in relief when Veronica had told him that she wanted to be a teacher instead. He wasn't sure that he'd be able to handle the stress of her being out in the field while he was still in school. At least if he was out there with her, he'd be able to keep an eye on her and be there in an instant if she had a breakdown.

He'd seen Veronica struggling all day and it made his heart hurt. All he wanted to do was hide her away from the world and protect her, but he knew that that wasn't an option. He wanted to stand by her side and help her to grow and conquer the world without a worry in sight. He knew that Veronica was just as strong as she was damaged, and it only made him love her even more.

Huh. Love, eh? Katsuki shook his head. When the hell did that happen? He tried to think back on everything that had happened over the past few weeks. Maybe it's always been that way?

An image of Veronica with sparkles and swirling pink and purple paint covering her face as a child flashed through his mind. He smiled at the old memory. My brave little Fairy Princess.

The image shifted to her smiling at him from across the coffee shop table, her deep blue eyes filled with absolute delight as she twisted the shimmering charm bracelet around on her wrist. Then, his heart screamed as emotions filled him. That's when it started.

Katsuki shook the thoughts and images from his head as he moved from the kitchen to the living room. He made a noise of appreciation as he took in the huge flatscreen and elaborate sound system, coupled with a wide array of gaming stations and video games. Does she actually play these? They don't look like they belong to IcyHot...

Crimson eyes fell on a stack of... Oh god. Katsuki couldn't help the laugh that escaped his lips. Otome games? Really? He crouched down to examine the games. Clearly these are hers. Does she really own all of these different gaming systems just to play these types of games?

Katsuki noticed a shimmering game case out of the corner of his eye. He peered past the pile of girly games, reaching his hand into the shelf to pull out the game that had caught his attention. He nodded his head in approval. At least she has some taste in games. He reached back in, pulling out the small stack of games she had hidden behind the others.

"Holy crap, I think that she might own all of them," Katsuki muttered as he sifted through the pile of Zelda games. "Yep, pretty sure she does. But why would she hide them?" He frowned. Maybe because of her aunt? He tucked away the information for a later date as he hid the pile of games once more.

He stood, stretching as he did so. Glancing around, he noted that while the rest of the living room was fairly well furnished, it didn't really have any personal belonging in it. A few photo's hung up on the wall, but Katsuki noticed with great dismay that they were all professionally done glamour shots. While Veronica looked quite pretty, all dolled up in the various stages of her life, it was clear that she was unhappy in every photo. She may have been smiling, but he'd seen her real one and knew that the one in the photos was just for show.

He stopped in front of a photo that was different from the others, if only for the fact that a young Shoto was in it with her. Veronica's smile was a little more genuine in this one as she looked at Shoto, but it was still a far stretch from the brilliant one that stretched across her face and made her eyes crinkle in joy. The one that Katsuki would do anything to see on a daily basis.

Katsuki moved away from the living room to examine the last place he figured he could get away with scouring without alerting Shoto to his actions. The rest of the apartment would have to wait for another day. Katsuki looked around the small entrance foyer, not really expecting to find anything of great interest. A brightly coloured ceramic bowl on the small table by the door held a few keys, while a small mirror hung above that. He glanced to where Shoto had neatly arranged all of their shoes, and he blinked a couple of times in confusion.

The black pair of flats that Veronica had been wearing earlier that day were caked in dried mud. What the...? Katsuki crouched down, picking up a shoe to examine it. The dirt provided him with more questions than answers. Where the hell did she go after the Sports Festival? Katsuki had assumed that she'd come straight home, but he realized that he'd been mistaken.

That would explain why she wasn't attacked until later this evening. He'd been worried that she'd been lying on the kitchen floor, injured since not long after the festival, but Veronica's wounds had been too fresh for that too be the case. At least some of the blanks we're starting to fill in. She was definitely attacked as soon as she got home, since the entrance was a complete mess, but the time line makes a little more sense now. But where was she until then?

Chapter Text

 

Veronica groaned as an alarm sounded not far from beside her, waking her from her sleep. She moved to smack it away, hoping to press the snooze button in the process. Except her hand hit something much softer than her alarm clock.

 

Shoto grumbled in his sleep at the impact of Veronica’s hand hitting his face, his eyes fluttering open as her hand squished his cheek. He was greeted with the sight of her scrunching up her nose, eyes still closed as she attempted to decipher what she'd hit.

 

Shoto chuckled lightly at Veronica’s actions, moving his hand to shut off his alarm as she continued her quizzical pinching of his cheek. "It's me, sweetheart."

 

Veronica’s eyes flew open upon hearing his deep voice, rough from sleep. Shoto stared back at her with smiling grey and turquoise eyes, curious to see how she'd react next. Veronica swallowed, slowly pulling her hand away from his face as she gave him a nervous smile.

 

"Sorry."

 

"It's okay," Shoto mused, his multicoloured bangs falling into his face. "How are you feeling?"

 

Veronica frowned at the question, her mind a little hazy. "I'm okay. I think that I dreamt of my mom though."

 

"Oh?" Shoto raised an eyebrow. Veronica had never really talked to him about her mother before, or about any of her family really. He'd known from a young age that she had died in an accident and that that's why Veronica was living with her aunt, but he'd never really asked her about her mother. Maybe it was because he felt it would remind him of his own mother, someone he'd been desperately trying to forget for the longest time.

 

"Mhm," Veronica nodded and yawned. "Though I don't quite remember why."

 

Shoto watched as she tentatively stretched her body, feeling around to take stock of what hurt and what didn't. She noticed with a small blush that Shoto's arms were wrapped protectively around her waist. Veronica’s embarrassment didn't last long though as pain shot through her shoulder, making her wince and hiss from the sensation.

 

Shoto bolted upright in bed, his hands immediately going to hover over Veronica’s body as he tried to figure out where she was hurting. His fingers settled gently on her right shoulder, tentatively pressing down on the tender skin. She grimaced in pain once more, and he quickly apologized.

 

"Does it hurt anywhere else?"

 

Veronica thought for a moment. "A few aches and dull pains, but nothing major. My head still hurts a bit though."

 

"That's to be expected," Shoto frowned. "We're pretty sure that you have a concussion, and Bakugo had to stitch you up in a few different places."

 

"Yeah, I think that I vaguely remember that." Veronica closed her eyes and sucked in a breath. So much had happened in the past 24 hours. She was finding it harder and harder to believe that she was actually alive as time passed and that fog filled dream wasn't helping matters.

 

Veronica had been hurt by her aunt plenty of times before but this was the first time she'd ever hit her head. Her reasoning had always been that it was the one place where an injury couldn't be easily explained away by training, and one scar on Veronica’s face could ruin her value. What would have happened if I hadn't been able to call for help?

 

A shiver of dread ran through Veronica’s body at the thought and Shoto brushed a few stray strands of hair out of her face as he watched her closely. "Come on, we should get you something to eat and drink."

 

Veronica nodded, allowing Shoto to slowly help her to a sitting position. He eyed her warily, watching for any sign that she may be on the verge of passing out or fainting. He quickly crawled out of the bed ahead of her before turning to help her to her feet.

 

Veronica swayed on her feet briefly, causing Shoto's eyes to fill with concern, but she pushed his hand away when he tried to assist her in walking. "I'm fine. If I'm going to fall I'll let you know."

 

Shoto nodded but stayed close to Veronica, preparing to catch her if a sudden dizzy spell hit her or she lost her footing. Veronica carefully made her way down the hall and to the main part of her home, surprised to see that they had cleaned up what she'd imagined would be a lot of blood. Of course they'd clean up, Veronica shook her head. It's not like they'd leave the place covered in blood.

 

Looking towards the living room Veronica spotted a foot dangling over the edge of the couch, no doubt belonging to Katsuki. She tiptoed into the room, wincing slightly as the change in movement caused pain to shoot through her left leg. A quick peek over the back of the couch revealed that Katsuki had fallen asleep in one of the most ridiculous positions she'd ever seen.

 

His right foot dangled over the edge of the couch, his other planted sideways on the floor while his right arm was thrown over his face and his left one was thrown above his head, bent at the elbow as it hung towards the floor. Veronica couldn't help the giggled that escaped her lips as Shoto came to stand beside her, his face twisting in confusion.

 

"How in the world did he manage to fall asleep like that?"

 

Veronica covered her mouth to muffled her laughter. "Beats me. Something tells me that he could fall asleep anywhere though."

 

Crimson eyes snapped open at Veronica’s words and Katsuki bolted upright suddenly, making her jump and let out a strangled shriek of terror. Shoto flinched at her scream, his hand shooting out instinctively to hit Katsuki's head.

 

"OI! What the fuck IcyHot?!" Katsuki rubbed the back of his head as he turned to glare at Shoto.

 

"Sorry," Shoto shrugged.

 

"Sorry my ass," Katsuki grumbled. His eyes found Veronica, taking in her form as best as he could from his spot on the couch. "Feeling better?"

 

She nodded, her heart thumping in her chest as she fought to calm down from the jump scare.

 

"Good," Katsuki shot her a small smile. "Hungry?"

 

Veronica’s stomach growled in response and Katsuki raised and eyebrow.

 

"Yes," she cleared her throat. "Very."

 


 

Veronica sat silently at the kitchen table as Shoto and Katsuki maneuvered around one another in the kitchen. After a short argument they'd decided on making her a vegetable stew, something that would be easy to eat but would still be filling. It was odd and slightly nerve wracking to watch them work in tandem on making her food. Behind each of their movements and interactions there was still a lot of tension building. It's was only a matter of time before someone snapped.

 

How much had they discussed while I was knocked out? Other than some snide comments and small outbursts from time to time, the two seemed to be working well together and the sight was twisting Veronica’s stomach into knots. So much could have happened while she was asleep and neither of them seemed too intent on discussing anything other than the task at hand.

 

"Um," Veronica spoke up, grabbing their attention. "What happened while I was out? Did, uh... Did you guys talk about stuff?"

 

Katsuki and Shoto exchanged a glance that Veronica couldn't read, making her even more nervous. "We'll talk after," Katsuki stopped beside her briefly as he gently ruffled her hair. "You need to eat first. Take the medication Todoroki gave you, it'll help with your headache."

 

Veronica stared wide eyed after Katsuki as he went on with his work. Did he just... She looked towards Shoto, who looked unfazed by Katsuki's use of his name. Oh god... this can't be good. They're being too civil towards each other, which means that they had to have talked about something, right?

 

Veronica’s hands twisted in the hem of her tattered shirt as she worried away at her bottom lip. The elephant in the room was starting to become suffocating. She needed an escape.

 

"I'm going to go for a shower and get changed out of these clothes," Veronica swiftly stood.

 

Shoto snaked a cool arm around her waist as Katsuki blocked her path. "Not likely," Katsuki eyed Veronica. "Your stitches shouldn't get wet and its not safe for you to be unsupervised for that long."

 

"But-"

 

"Listen to him," came Shoto's calm reply near Veronica’s ear. "He knows what's best."

 

Excuse me, what?! Her head was practically swimming with confusion.

 

"Okay, no, that's it!" Veronica pushed away from Shoto and spun so that she was able to see both of them. "I need answers, and I need them NOW!"

 

Katsuki and Shoto exchanged uneasy glances. They'd been doing their best to put this off for as long as possible. Neither one wanted the conversation that would decide who Veronica would end up with to happen just yet.

 

"You need to eat before-"

 

"Shut the fuck up!" Veronica glared at Katsuki, who stared back in surprise. "I'm so sick of listening to you two come up with excuses. Either this conversation is happening now or you two can get the fuck out of my house!"

 

"We can't just leave you," Shoto frowned. "We can't guarantee that you'll be fine on your own."

 

"Then that settles it," Veronica crossed her arms as she stared them both down. "This conversation is happening now."

Chapter Text

Veronica turned to look at Shoto, her stomach twisting into knots as she sucked in a breath. Everything that had happened over the past 24 hours had been leading up to this moment. She didn't doubt that it was going to hurt, getting everything about her relationship with each of them out into the open, but it needed to be done. The air needed to be cleared or none of them would ever be able to move on from this.

Veronica swallowed the lump that had formed in her throat as she asked the one question that she needed to hear the answer to the most. "Why didn't you break up with me when you saw Katsuki and I kissing the other day? Why wait until after the Sports Festival?"

Katsuki's head snapped towards Shoto, crimson eyes going wide. "You fucking knew?"

Shoto nodded but didn't bother to look at Katsuki. Holy shit. Katsuki blinked at him in surprise. How the hell did he manage to keep that under wraps for almost 2 days? I'd have lost it the second I found out. He had to give it to him for being able to keep his emotions so well in check.

Veronica held her breath as Shoto's grey and turquoise eyes betrayed his inner struggle, his expression remaining blank as he watched her to gauge her reaction. "I didn't want to lose you."

The air left Veronica’s lungs as Shoto's words hit her like a punch to the gut. "But then... Why?" Her eyes became wet with tears as her hands fisted at her sides. "Why did you break up with me without even talking to me about it?!"

Katsuki clenched his jaw to keep himself from smiling. He hated that Veronica was in pain, he really did, but he was thrilled that he was getting a front row seat to her reaming out Shoto. He fucking deserves it after what he put her through.

"There were other things going on that-"

"You don't think I know that already?!" Veronica stomped towards Shoto as best as she could with her injuries, jabbing her finger into his chest. "I already know about your deal with Katsuki!"

Shoto's eyes flicked towards Katsuki, anger flashing as he saw the ash blond holding back laughter.

"Don't look at me," Katsuki shrugged. "It was probably that Vice President bastard who told her."

"Her blue haired friend?" Shoto inquired over Veronica’s head.

"Yeah." Katsuki flashed a menacing smile as he raised his right hand. "I'll gladly punch him again if you'd like. I didn't hit him nearly enough the first time."

"You got into a fight with-"

"Don't fucking ignore me!" Veronica fumed at the two of them. "We have more important things to discuss and I'm not going to sit around and wait."

Shoto's gaze returned to Veronica once more as Katsuki let lose a snicker. She whipped her head towards him, narrowing her eyes. "Don't think you're off the hook either. You're next."

Katsuki bit his cheek to keep from bursting into a fit of laughter. He knew she was mad but she just looked so freaking adorable, all worked up and trying to seem menacing. He was smart enough to know that if he said anything along those lines now though, he'd be dead meat.

Veronica’s eyes found Shoto's once more as a wave of strong emotions flooded her body. "If you really didn't want to lose me, then why?" Her voice cracked as she fought to get the words out. "Why didn't you just talk to me, Shoto? Why did you go and do all of this behind my back? All of this could have been avoided. You didn't even take my feelings into account."

"Why..." Hot tears started streaming down Veronica’s face, her chest tight with hurt and anger as her fingers wrapped themselves into the soft fabric of Shoto's shirt. "Why did you lose?!"

Shoto's chest filled with pain as his heart broke. He was overcome with emotions as he stared down at Veronica, Her deep blue eyes filled with sadness and desperation as she fought to understand why he'd done the things he'd done. He realized, too late, just how close he'd pushed her to the breaking point.

Katsuki's brighter mood quickly soured. He clenched his jaw as he forced himself to stay rooted to the spot rather than to go and drag Veronica away from Shoto and into his arms. He'd been stupid to think that only a few weeks would be enough to pull her away from Shoto. They were childhood friends after all. Shoto had a lifetime of being by Veronica’s side and making her life more bearable while Katsuki had only been a part of hers for a barely a month.

"Veronica..." Shoto slowly wrapped his arms around her sobbing form and pulled her against his chest as he pressed his forehead against hers. "I'm so, so sorry, sweetheart."

Veronica tilted her head down, trying to avoid his intense gaze as she cried. "Look at me, please," Shoto gently grabbed her by her chin and forced her to look up at him. "I should have talked to you. I know that now and I wont make that mistake again. It was stupid of me to assume that I knew what you were feeling but..."

Shoto paused, glancing briefly at Katsuki before continuing. "But I thought that you wanted to be with him and I didn't want to force you to stay with me just because you felt you had to."

Veronica shook her head. "I don't know what I want, Shoto," she choked out. "I like you so much, I always have." She sniffled before turning her head towards Katsuki. "But I like him too."

Katsuki almost dropped to his knees as relief flooded him. He'd been sure that he was witnessing Veronica slipping completely through his fingers and the hope that her words brought to him was overwhelming. He rushed forward, wrapping his arms around her overtop of Shoto's as he pressed himself against Veronica’s back in comfort. The hurt and anger that had started to take hold in his heart melted away as he realized that all of his efforts weren't for nothing.

Shoto eyed Katsuki warily over Veronica’s head but made no move to pull away or protest his presence against her as she let them comfort her. "Now what?" Veronica sniffled as her sobs subsided.

Shoto looked at Veronica for a moment, his mind swirling with an array of thoughts and emotions. He slowly looked between her and Katsuki, gauging their reactions as he spoke. "You can't decide at the moment, right?"

Veronica nodded and he continued slowly. "Then what if you try both?"

Veronica scrunched up her nose as Katsuki gaped at Shoto. "Are you proposing what I think you're fucking proposing, IcyHot?"

Shoto released a tired sigh. "I think so."

Veronica glanced between the two of them, confused. What is he asking exactly? "What do you mean, 'try both'?"

"He means that you should try dating both of us, babe," Katsuki huffed. "I think that he's lost his fucking mind." He had to have, if he was willing to give Katsuki a fair shot at winning her over.

Veronica eyes went wide as she stared up at Shoto, not a hint of uncertainty on his face. "At the same time?"

Shoto nodded. Veronica’s head was spinning as Katsuki rested his chin on top of her head, his eyes meeting Shoto's. "For how long?"

"We should give her plenty of time to choose. We wouldn't want to make the mistake of ignoring her feelings again." Shoto tilted his head slightly, thinking. "Till the end of the school year, maybe?"

"That should be plenty of time for her to figure out her feelings," Katsuki nodded lightly in agreement before pulling back slightly to look down at Veronica. "What do you think, babe?"

Veronica tilted her head back to look at his crimson eyes. "What about everyone else. It's not normal to do this, people will talk and-"

"Tch, screw the extras. It doesn't matter what they think," Katsuki scowled.

"I agree," Shoto replied cooly. "None of their opinions matter."

"But-"

"We'll have to set some ground rules beforehand of course," Katsuki interrupted Veronica’s protests.

"Of course," Shoto met Katsuki's eyes, his expression stern. "No sex."

Veronica choked on air and sputtered between them. Excuse me, what?! Is this seriously happening right now?!

"Agreed," Katsuki narrowed his eyes. "And an equal amount of time is to be spent with each of us."

Shoto nodded. "That's fair."

"Is this really... okay?" Veronica glanced between the two of them, uncertainty filling her. People were obviously going to talk, and it was only a matter of time before their parents found out. Besides, were they really willing to date her at the same time? Hell, am I okay with dating them at the same time?

"It'll be fine, don't worry," Katsuki lightly massaged circles into Veronica’s sides with his fingertips. "If anyone bothers you about it, tell us immediately, okay?"

"O-okay..."

"Before that though," Katsuki stepped back and tugged Veronica out of Shoto's arms. He quickly spun her so that she was facing him instead. "We need to be on equal ground. If I win I want it to be because I was better for you, not because I knew something he didn't."

Veronica sucked in a shaky breath as Katsuki's words sunk in. "No more secrets," his crimson eyes bore into hers. "You're telling him now. He needs to know and you need to be the one to tell him."

Before Veronica had a chance to argue or change her mind, Katsuki spun her so that she was facing Shoto once more, who was eyeing them warily. He'd known that Katsuki knew more than he did and he was thankful that Katsuki wanted the fight to be fair rather than to use what he knew as an advantage over him.

Katsuki gave Veronica a gentle push towards Shoto, who opened his arms once more. She stood between the two of them, glancing back at Katsuki in a silent plea for mercy. He shook his head sharply, informing her that there was no way he was going to let this go.

Veronica closed her eyes as she faced Shoto, taking a deep breath in through her nose in an attempt to calm herself. She opened her eyes, meeting Shoto's expectant gaze as she folded her arms across her stomach, her fingernails digging into the tender and bruised skin of her forearms.

Shoto's gaze softened as he watched Veronica struggle to come up with words, her anxiety written all over her face. He wanted to reach out to her and pull her back into his arms but he knew that she needed to work through this herself.

"I..." Veronica swallowed hard, attempting to sort through her thoughts and come up with the proper words. Her deep blue eyes darted around the room, doing their best to focus on anything other than Shoto as she spoke. "My aunt..." Her body began to shake, fresh tears springing to her eyes. The room began to close in around Veronica, her breath coming in short bursts.

Suddenly she felt Katsuki's supportive presence right behind her, his arms wrapping around her waist as he placed his face against her neck, whispering into her ear. "Focus on my voice," he spoke softly. "Breath on my count. In and out through your nose."

Veronica nodded as he began. "Deep breath in. 1, 2, 3, 4," she sucked in a shaky breath as he counted slowly. "Hold it. 1, 2, 3, 4." She fought to keep the air in her lungs. "Exhale. 1, 2, 3, 4." The air released from Veronica’s lungs in a quick burst despite her attempt to follow his count. "Hold. 1, 2, 3, 4."

Veronica followed Katsuki’s deep, soothing voice, the tension slowly melting away as he repeated his instructions. After a few cycles it became easier to follow his count and she noticed that she was much more calm and relaxed than when he had started.

"Better?" Katsuki asked, placing a kiss against Veronica’s golden hair.

"Yes." She tilted her head back to look at him. "Thank you."

"Anytime, babe."

Shoto watched this exchange with a worried expression. He'd seen Veronica starting to deteriorate but if he'd gotten to her before Katsuki, he wasn't sure that he'd have been able to help her the way that the blond had. It hurt to know that someone was taking care of Veronica better than he could but he knew that all he could do was wait for her to explain what was going on. It was the only way he'd be able to learn how to help.

Veronica took in a deep breath once more, much easier this time, as she looked at Shoto. She felt a bit guilty for making him watch that, but there wasn't anything she could do at this point. Katsuki gave her an encouraging squeeze before letting her go and stepping back once more.

Veronica clasped her hands together in front of herself, wringing her fingers as she started again. "My aunt... she was the one who hurt me."

Shoto's eyes widened in disbelief. Then everything started to click. The way Veronica’s body became stiff when someone talked about her aunt; the reason why she wanted her own apartment when she started at UA, even though she'd never asked Endeavour for anything before; the countless bruises and cuts that she claimed were from training at school and at home, but never gave an exact reason why; the way she got jittery and anxious whenever her aunt was due home for a visit or an event...

Shoto began to swear profusely as the temperature in the apartment dropped suddenly. Veronica stepped back in surprise as Katsuki grimly watched Shoto as he worked through the anger he no doubt felt; at both Veronica’s guardian and his own stupidity for not realizing what was going on all of these years.

"How long?" Shoto took a step towards Veronica, his form taking on a menacing air that filled the kitchen. "How long has she been abusing you?"

Katsuki quickly moved to position himself between Veronica and Shoto's increasing rage. "Calm down," he glared at Shoto as he slipped a protective arm around her. "You're scaring her."

Shoto blinked, coming to his senses as he saw Veronica’s shaking form curled up against Katsuki's side. He took a step back, his anger deflating as he realized the negative affect he was having on her. "I'm sorry."

Katsuki shook his head. "I'm sorry isn't what she needs to hear."

Shoto stared at Katsuki in confusion before his brain kicked back into gear. He looked at Veronica’s eyes, wide with fear and uncertainty. "I would never hurt you, Veronica," Shoto's expression softened into one of concern. "I'm not my father and I want to protect you more than anything." He sucked in a breath. "Which is why I need to make a phone call, right now."

Veronica pulled away from Katsuki, her body relaxing once more as she glanced to the clock above the sink. "It's nearly 5 am Shoto. Who are you going to call at this hour?"

"His father," Katsuki mused.

Shoto nodded as Veronica looked between the two of them, perplexed. "Why?"

"Because he's going to do what he can to protect you from now on," Katsuki moved to return to making her food as Shoto pulled out his phone. "And he'll be able to do a better job of it than me."